By Frank Pingue
(Reuters) – The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) board of representatives decided against holding a vote on the owners’ proposed terms of a new collective bargaining agreement on Friday after its executive committee recommended they reject the deal.
The decision came a day after owners approved a potential new deal that, among other things, would give the NFL the option to expand to a 17-game schedule, increase players’ revenue share and increase the playoff field to 14 teams from 12.
Earlier on Friday, the 11-member NFLPA Executive Committee which led negotiations with owners from the union side, voted 6-5 against recommending the proposed agreement to the overall body of players.
Had the 32-member board of player representatives opted to hold a vote on the proposed deal it would have needed a two-thirds majority and then a majority vote by all players to take effect.
“Our player leadership looks forward to meeting with NFL management again next week before the Board takes a vote shortly after,” the NFLPA said in a statement.
The current collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association expires following the 2020 season.
Many players have been outspoken about the prospect of extending the current 16-game regular season, including San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, who is a member of the NFL Players Association’s Executive Committee.
“I don’t think it’s something that players are interested in, honestly, and if that’s the point they are negotiating on, I think these negotiations are going to go a lot longer than anticipated,” Sherman said recently.
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, one of the more prominent voices in the NFL, took to Twitter after the owners’ meeting on Thursday to express where he stood on the proposed collective bargaining agreement.
“Hard no on that proposed CBA,” Watt tweeted.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)