Some NFL Players Voice Concern about CBA
Aaron Rodgers, Richard Sherman, and Russell Wilson all announce they are voting No
With the Super Bowl over and the NFL Combine taking place this week in Indianapolis, the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement is taking center stage.
As the two sides continue to talk about the deal, the owners unanimously voted to send an agreement to the players. The owner’s agreement includes a 17th game as well as an extra playoff game. While the NFLPA has been quiet on their opinion of the proposed CBA, player reps have begun voicing their concerns and have taken to social media to state that they will be voting against the CBA. So far superstars like Aaron Rodgers, JJ Watt, and Richard Sherman have come out against the deal. The executive committee of the union also voted down the CBA by a vote of 6-5 and then held a second vote, this time rejecting it by a vote of 7-4. However, the 32 player reps did support the deal by a vote of 17-14-1.
With the deal now set to be voted on by the membership, there is a clear divide. On the one hand players on practice squads and lower paid players are being offered guaranteed raises. However, these raises come at the expense of one extra regular season game and potentially one extra playoff game.
In a statement about why he voted no, Packers Player Rep Aaron Rodgers said that the added wear and tear on the body from a 17th game was too much. He also pointed out that with the added chance of injury, and the longer stretch in between bye weeks, the union felt that it was important to get more time off during the offseason. However he said that the owners refused, even though it would not have added costs for the team, rather lessening it by having fewer mandatory offseason workouts.
My thoughts. # pic.twitter.com/VOmCSNiI4f
— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) February 26, 2020
Richard Sherman agreed with Rodgers saying that there is no price that can be put on the health and wellness of the players. Russell Wilson, a veteran quarterback, also is voting no and said that players need to come first like they do in the MLB and NBA. He went on to say that they should not rush into agreeing on a 10 year deal.
In perhaps the most vocal opposition to the CBA, Steelers Center Maurkice Pouncey posted a video on Twitter calling out veteran players to take care of the younger players and suggesting that the players prepare for a job action.
"And if any player, on any one of our teams, if y'all are hurting for rent money or anything while we're going through this lockout, call us. Man, we've got way more money than what they had back in the days. We ain't got to worry about that. All the vets on each team, stand the f--- up. Stand up. Show these guys that we care about them. Man, I care about all you young players and I love you guys to death. I ain't going to let y'all down. Trust and believe."
Since a majority of the player reps voted in favor of the CBA, the vote will now go to the full NFL PA membership. With leaders in the game opposing the deal, this could be an indication that the deal will be voted down. Although it is important that the majority of players aren’t making millions and will only average a few years in the league, meaning that an extra $100,000 increase in salary could be enough to convert them to a Yes vote.
Voting will take place over the next few weeks.