There’s been a lot of talk about the CBA recently, and the potential for a work stoppage when it expires after the 2020 season. We just heard that the owners and players held their first negotiating meetings, and now we have more details on what exactly went down. A handful of owners and members of the NFLPA’s executive committee met for “roughly five hours,” earlier this week, Albert Breer of SI.com was told. Breer describes it as a big deal and writes that it “shouldn’t have flown under the radar.” As Breer points out, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith had said a couple of years ago that a lockout when the CBA expired was a “virtual certainty,” so the fact that they’re having positive conversations this far out is a huge development.
Breer notes that the owners were the ones who initiated this meeting, which is a big departure from when the owners decided to opt out of the CBA years in advance last time around. Overall, Breer describes the meeting as a “good start.” There’s still a long way to go, and the threat of a work stoppage is still a very real possibility, but things don’t seem nearly as dire as they once did. Breer points to the rapidly increasing cap as one thing that may help pacify players in negotiations.
Here’s more from around the league:
- Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills was arrested for his role in a fight earlier today. The team has now issued their response, saying “the Philadelphia Eagles are aware of the situation involving defensive back Jalen Mills and are continuing to gather more information,” adding that “no further comments will be provided at this time.” It’s a fairly standard statement. Mills was hurt for half of last season, but started all eight games he was active for, so it would be a big loss for Philly if he were to miss any time with a suspension.
- The Texans desperately need offensive line help, as Deshaun Watson was running for his life again last year. To that end, they’re doing their research on this year’s top offensive line prospects. The team brought in Washington offensive tackle Kaleb McGary for a visit today, a source told Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). McGary could go as high as the first round, but could also be a target for the Texans with either of their two second round picks if he slips a little bit.
- DeMarcus Lawrence was able to get over $20MM annually on his contract extension, and that deal could have a ripple effect across the league. In a recent piece, former NFL agent and current CBS Sports analysts Joel Corry took a look at how Lawrence’s new pact will effect the rest of the big name pass-rushers waiting to get paid. Dee Ford recently settled for a little less, but Lawrence’s deal has now reset the market yet again. Lawrence’s deal “undoes any damage Dee Ford’s may have to the market for highly productive pass rushers in line for new contracts, primarily Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark and Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney,” Corry writes. Corry also writes that Yannick Ngakoue of the Jaguars and Chris Jones of the Chiefs could join them as defensive linemen making $20MM+ annually, saying that those four’s agents “will likely view Lawrence’s deal as the salary floor for their clients.”