CBA Notes: Funding Rule, Marijuana, Fines

The momentum toward a new CBA took a blow on Friday, but all hope is not lost, as the two sides have agreed to meet at the combine next week. As we await more word on where exactly the players union stands, here’s the latest on what was in the most recent proposal:

  • One issue that players didn’t get what they wanted on is the ‘funding rule,’ per Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The players wanted the rule eliminated, but instead Graziano notes the proposal only “weaken[ed] the rule somewhat.” The rule requires teams to put any amount of guaranteed money in a contract over $2MM into escrow. As Graziano points out, it’s an outdated rule from many years ago designed to prevent teams from being unable to make payroll. As the players have argued for years now, that makes owners less willing to give players large guarantees, since they have to put all the money into a bank account up front. Especially for owners that are more cash-strapped than others, it’s a significant deterrent. Graziano writes that the proposal increases the “funding rule threshold to $15 million in the first year of the deal and $17 million in 2029, the final year of the deal.”
  • There’s been talk for a while about the new deal relaxing marijuana restrictions, and we have the full details on what that would look like, courtesy of Mark Maske of the Washington Post (Twitter link). The THC testing window would be reduced from a huge four-month period to just two weeks at the start of training camp. Additionally, players would no longer be suspended solely for positive marijuana tests, the number of players tested would be reduced, and the thresholds for positive tests would be increased. In other words, marijuana use will virtually never be an issue again for NFL players.
  • Another smaller benefit for the players is they won’t have to pay as much money in fines, Maske tweets. The proposal will apparently reduce the fines from both teams and the league for on-field infractions. That means players won’t be fined as much for things like unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
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17 comments on “CBA Notes: Funding Rule, Marijuana, Fines

  1. ahale224

    Who really cares if they get high? Don’t get crazy baked and drive when you aren’t safe, that’s all.

  2. Glad they would relax the rules on marijuana but it just shouldn’t be a factor at all like is there any point? Does anyone care?

  3. cyyoung24

    Has it been reported if the weed change will be retroactive? Like will Josh Gordon have a clean slate or are they still gonna keep players already in the system under more strict guidelines?

  4. Senioreditor

    Like they always say, keep them bogged down on small stuff and they’ll miss the big issues….like guaranteed contracts and an actual path to free agency. The union leaders are selling the players out again. When will they ever hire real leaders?????

    • mitchrapp

      Dude you need to understand that the owners don’t need the players like the players desperately need the owners. Their union reps can demand anything they want but why would the owners agree to ideas they view as no good. Play at an elite level for a few, three years and you’ll get guaranteed money. Money to last a lifetime.

      • The owners need the best football players on earth to play for them, it’s part of the product, bad football doesn’t sell, billionaires just have more leverage than millionaires, but thinkin owners don’t need the players is a false assumption

        • mitchrapp

          I didn’t say the owners don’t need players, just the players need the owners much more. The owners aren’t going broke if the players sit out for an extended time, some of the players might and all of them loose fragile time in what is traditionally a career that usually lasts under 4 years.

    • forstyle

      no major sports have graduated contracts in their CBA’s. players and agent have basically set that precedent on other sports by not accepting anything less. there is no reason players can’t do what Kirk Cousins did and wait for a fully guaranteed deal. it’s on individual players and agents to set that standard

    • Guaranteed contracts may be great for players but will be horrible for the game. Even today offset language keeps a player with guaranteed money from getting cut pocketing it all and signing elsewhere to pile it on. Team would still have to cut players that aren’t performing, you’ll have more dead cap space or more teams that can’t afford anything but UDFA’s because of locked dollars from guaranteed contracts.

  5. crosseyedlemon

    “owners that are more cash-strapped than others”.

    Hilarious. Every NFL owner has a net worth in the billions of dollars…yet they might have to panhandle on a street corner to get the cash needed to make the payroll?

    • It’s all about cash flow. Those signing bonuses are $$ going out right away. Not every team owner has the liquidity of Jerry Jones.

  6. dmarcus15

    The weed thing is a good thing for self medicating instead of using the hard core scrips they prescribe. The NFL should buy a dispensary and sell it to the players so they get pure weed.

  7. goldenmisfit

    The funding issue is ridiculous. Every owner is a billionaire they just love doing this because they are afraid one day the players will flat out ask for 100% guaranteed contracts. It is pretty sad when the NFL is the only sport that does not offer guaranteed contracts. Think about that for a minute the most profitable sport in the United States is the only sport that does not give 100% guaranteed contracts.

    • forstyle

      kirk cousins got a guarantee contract. it’s up to individual players to set that precedent. other leagues don’t have guaranteed contracts either. the players just don’t settle for anything else.

  8. cyyoung24

    Can we please stop interchanging the terms millionaire and billionaire? Not all owners are billionaires, Mark Davis has a $500m net worth. That is HALF of a billion, or $500m LESS than a billion. It’s not even close to the same thing. These are numbers we will never truly understand but please stop pretending all sports owners are billionaires. There were only 609 billionaires in the entire US per Forbes in 2019. People sound like brainwashed Bernie-bro’s. Are they all rich af? Of course!! Stop hating people with money and go get your own so people hate you.

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