NFL owners voted in New York City on Thursday to accept the negotiated terms for a new collective bargaining agreement, the league announced.
The players will discuss whether to accept these same terms on Friday. A new CBA could potentially be ratified before the start of the new league year on March 18.
The new proposal includes expanding the NFL’s regular-season schedule to 17 games, which wouldn’t go into effect until 2021 at the earliest. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier this week that the proposal would also boost the sport’s postseason from six teams per conference to seven. In addition, only one team from each conference would receive a first-round bye, as opposed to two. The postseason format changes would reportedly take effect in the 2020 season.
Revenue split has also been a point of contention during CBA negotiations. According to NFL Network, the players’ share will increase from 47% to 48% each year if the NFL schedule remains at 16 games, and it will jump to 48.5% if a 17-game schedule is approved.
During Thursday’s meeting, the owners approved to move forward under the final year of the 2011 CBA if the players do not accept the negotiated terms. The current CBA between the NFL and the NFLPA expires following the 2020 season.