Earlier today, owners approved the latest variation of the collective bargaining agreement, and reporters have gotten their hands on some of the proposal’s major details:
- There will be two extra roster spots added to the active roster and two extra spots added to the practice squad. As Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com observes, this would add 128 players to the union. Somewhat related, the league will also have an ” extra offensive lineman” rule that would be somewhat similar to the previous “third quarterback rule.” Essentially, if an offensive lineman is knocked out of a game, a reserve lineman could play (via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero on Twitter).
- Going off of that, teams will have an extra $1.25MM to spend on up to two players with four-plus years of experience. This chunk of change won’t count towards the salary cap, making it the NFL’s pseudo-version of the NBA’s mid-level exception (as Pelissero notes). Minimum salaries will also be increased, meaning those fringe players will have additional chances to earn.
- Roger Goodell will have diminished authority over discipline. The league will implement “a neutral decision-maker for most Commissioner Discipline cases.” As Pelissero tweets, the commissioner will have authority “over integrity of the game matters” (like Deflategate). Personal conduct matters will now be handled by the arbitrator. Further, there will be reduced penalties for THC, and there will be no “game suspensions strictly for positive tests.”
- Fifth-year options will now be fully guaranteed and tied to performance (as opposed to draft position), tweets NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Specifically, when a team picks up the option, the fifth-year salary will be fully-guaranteed prior to the first rounder’s fourth season, and the value will be directly tied to performance. There will also be performance escalators for second- through seventh-rounders.
- There are a variety of changes to training camp practices, with a 2.5-hour limit on “padded/full speed practices” (via NFL.com’s Albert Breer on Twitter). There’s also limits to time spent at a team’s facility during a single workday and limits of only 16 days in pads.