A significant development in the CBA negotiations was announced Saturday evening. The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to push back the franchise and transition tag windows, sources told Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). The tag window was supposed to be from February 25th to March 10th, but it’ll now be from February 27th to March 12th.
In a follow-up tweet, Pelissero noted that if no new CBA is agreed upon by then, teams will be able to use both the franchise and transition tags instead of the usual one tag per team. As he points out that’s potentially good news for teams like the Cowboys, who have more than one impending free agent they want control over. The push moves the window to after the full NFLPA vote on the proposed CBA is expected, so teams will be able to know where things stand before deciding who to tag.
Momentum toward a new CBA took a significant blow yesterday, although the two sides agreed to meet at this week’s combine to further negotiate. This is a move designed to give the sides a little bit more time to talk as deadlines rapidly approach, and to see if the Tuesday summit at the combine moves things in the right direction. The decision has many implications, and Jason Fitzgerald of Overthecap.com tweets that he thinks the union will now have to “indicate a pretty strong yes by the 26th” or else there won’t be new CBA rules this year.
It also gives teams like the Cowboys two extra days to negotiate long-term deals for players like Dak Prescott before they have to decide whether or not to use a tag. Interestingly, if progress is made on talks and it looks like there’s a deal to be reached, there is still a chance that the start of free agency is pushed back to accommodate the talks, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY hears (Twitter link). These next few days are going to be pivotal, and we should know a lot more soon.