The NFL Players Association has approved a new collective bargaining agreement that will maintain labor peace in the league for the next 11 seasons. The proposed deal narrowly passed with 51.9 percent in favor of the new agreement.
The new CBA certainly changes the playoff format landscape. Each conference will add a additional playoff team, shifting the number of teams in the playoff field from 6 to 7. Subsequently, only one team per conference will now get a bye. Hopefully, we will now get even more games with playoff implications in the final week of the season.
Speaking of the final week of the season, the new CBA includes an option for a 17-game regular season. This change could be in effect as soon as the 2021 season. I’m sure there are numerous ways to look at this one, but from a fan’s perspective I’ll try not to overthink it and go with more football is better than less football. Even if it means we have to watch another Drew Brees record-setting ceremony when he inevitably throws for 6,000 yards in a season under the new format.
Perhaps one of the most important outcomes of the new agreement will be increased benefits for retired players. Health coverage benefits and death benefits for families of former players will be increased under the provisions of the new CBA.
The new CBA will also include provisions to increase pensions for retired players, and now players with three years of accrued service time will have access to a pension, after years of receiving nothing.
Overall, I am excited about the deal as a fan. Plus, what else do we have to talk about as sports fans right now? This is as exciting as it’s going to get folks.