The NFL Players Association will meet after Super Bowl LIV to conditionally vote on a 17-game regular-season schedule that would likely go into effect in 2021, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.
All 32 team player representatives and the NFLPA executive board will reportedly meet at an undisclosed location to review the 10-year labor contract. A source told ESPN the players can either "accept the one thing they hate, a 17-game season, in exchange for 10 or more things they want."
A select group of player agents met in Miami on Thursday to discuss the proposed new collective bargaining agreement and any potential consequences if the players reject it. If they do, a potential lockout and work stoppage could take place when the current agreement expires in 2021, reports ESPN.
Players could potentially ask if owners will consider other changes to the calendar in exchange for a longer regular season, such as reducing the work load in training camp or shortening the preseason to two or three games.
According to ESPN, if a new CBA is in place before the league year starts in March, it would go into effect immediately in 2020. The labor agreement proposal would give the NFL an option to create a 17-game season that wouldn't start until at least 2021, with the option tied to new revenues in pending TV and media contracts.
Other highlights of the proposal include the addition of an extra playoff game, which the owners must approve at the league meetings in March. Players could also gain increases to former player benefits, and a change to the drug policy could nearly eliminate punishment for those who test positive for marijuana.