While CBA negotiations have been on the January schedule for a while, the NFL and NFLPA have already resumed talks. The sides convened for negotiations last week, Judy Battista of NFL.com reports (on Twitter), adding the goal remains to have a new agreement finalized by season’s end. The NFL initially sought to have this done before Week 1, an unrealistic scenario since the current CBA does not expire until March 2021, and has since inserted a 17-game season into the talks.
Roger Goodell said he and the owners discussed the CBA for roughly an hour at this week’s league meetings, but the 13th-year commissioner is uncertain how far apart the owners and players are. Should a deal not be completed by March, new elections of an NFLPA president and new members on the union’s executive committee could change the tenor of the months-long negotiations, per Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith.
Here is the latest from around the league:
- Shortly after Major League Baseball announced marijuana will not be on its banned substances list, Jerry Jones said the NFL will likely further amend its policy, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets. The league has already shown leniency on this front, years ago raising the threshold for what results in a marijuana-based suspension. Owners are reportedly ready to make marijuana a bargaining chip in exchange for the players’ side agreeing to an extra regular-season game. Jones has said in the past he’s in favor of marijuana not residing on the NFL’s banned substances list.
- Two running backs will skip their final collegiate seasons to enter the draft. Boston College’s A.J. Dillon and Mississippi State’s Kylin Hill announced they will enter the 2020 draft pool. At 250 pounds and with 13 career receptions, Dillon profiles as an old-school back. Boston College’s all-time leading rusher gained 4,382 yards (5.2 per carry) and, per Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, is expected to time in the 4.4-second range in the 40-yard dash. The 215-pound Hill did not fare nearly as well in college but will enter the draft on the heels of his lone 1,000-yard season — a 1,347-yard, 10-touchdown slate — and do so with only 430 college carries under his belt. Hill will play in the Bulldogs’ bowl game; Dillon will skip the Eagles’ postseason tilt.
- Louisiana Tech cornerback Amik Robertson will join the backs in declaring early, Tony Pauline of the Pro Football Network tweets. An All-American this season, Robertson intercepted five passes and ranked second in passes defensed with 21.