In letter to players, NFLPA outlines major issues in CBA talks

Shalise Manza Young
Yahoo Sports Columnist

Though the current collective bargaining agreement isn’t set to expire until March 2021, the NFL and NFL Players Association have been holding talks to work toward negotiating a new CBA for months.

Not surprisingly, the economics are a major issue.

On Thursday, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith sent an email to all players outlining the issues that are preventing a deal.

‘We cannot recommend that we should accept a deal’

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith sent an email to players on Thursday updating CBA negotiations. (Christy Radecic/AP Images)

In the email, Smith highlighted seven “major issues,” and wrote that they “are significant enough that we cannot recommend to our membership that we should accept a deal in this state at this time.”

The issues he mentioned:

  • The maximum percentage of revenue that players could receive each year in salaries and benefits;

  • Minimum cash spending requirements for each club and league-wide;

  • The continuation of — and ultimately an increase of — the NFLPA Legacy Fund, which under the current CBA retroactively increased pensions for pre-1993 players through contributions of active players and NFL ownership;

  • Greater increases for individual minimum salaries;

  • Removing the Escrow Requirement/Funding Rule as a barrier to guaranteed contracts;

  • Rules for players drafted in the first round and for restricted free agents;

  • NFL-proposed liability waiver

The liability waiver is of particularly interest; Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noted that it was proposed by the NFL for on-field injuries. A source told Florio the waiver is a “non-starter.”

If it’s a waiver similar to the one the NFL wanted Colin Kaepernick to sign in November — the waiver that in part led to that workout with NFL representatives being nixed by Kaepernick — it’s almost impossible to see the NFLPA ever agreeing to it.

One other big note: The NFL’s CBA proposals are based on a 17-game regular season; the NFLPA wants to keep the regular season at 16 games.

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