NFL owners approve terms of new collective-bargaining agreement

The 32 NFL team owners voted Thursday in a Manhattan hotel to “accept the negotiated terms on the principles of a new collective bargaining agreement.”

Such quick action by the owners indicates their eagerness to replace the 10-year labor agreement that concludes in March 2021. Several elements of a new CBA could be implemented for the upcoming season should the players vote in favor of it.

The NFL said in a statement: “Following more than ten months of intensive and thorough negotiations, the NFL Players and clubs have jointly developed a comprehensive set of new and revised terms that will transform the future of the game, provide for players – past, present, and future – both on and off the field, and ensure that the NFL’s second century is even better and more exciting for the fans.

The membership voted today to accept the negotiated terms on the principal elements of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Players Association would also need to vote to approve the same terms for there to be a new agreement.

Since the clubs and players need to have a system in place and know the rules that they will operate under by next week, the membership also approved moving forward under the final year of the 2011 CBA if the players decide not to approve the negotiated terms. Out of respect for the process and our partners at the NFLPA, we will have no further comment at this time.”

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Neither Commissioner Roger Goodell nor any of the owners offered detailed comment about the proposed CBA.

The NFL Players Association said Thursday it would not comment on the NFL’s announcement.

Now the onus is on the players, who have a conference call Friday involving their executive committee and player representatives.

Should the players vote against accepting this proposal or seek further negotiations, the NFL has said the current agreement would remain in place for 2020.

The league’s business year begins March 18.

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The proposal may include a 17-game schedule; a reduction of the preseason, initially from four games to three; an expansion of the playoffs; and higher share of revenues for the players.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.