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The NFL is one step closer toward getting a new collective bargaining agreement after the league’s owners accepted the terms of the latest proposal.
In a memo from the league obtained by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL announced its membership “voted to accept terms on the principal elements of a new collective bargaining agreement.”
Per ESPN’s Dan Graziano, the next step in the process will include a vote on the CBA proposal by NFL Players Association player reps during a conference call Friday. If at least two-thirds of the reps approve the terms of the new CBA, it will move to a full player vote.
Per Schefter, Thursday’s vote with all 32 team owners wasn’t unanimously approved.
The initial agreement comes in the wake of Schefter reporting the proposed CBA would expand the playoff field from six to seven teams in each conference and increase the regular-season schedule to 17 games.
The proposed 17-game schedule wouldn’t be in place until 2021 if the CBA is approved.
Per Mark Maske of The Washington Post, the league will “probably” move forward with the expanded playoffs regardless of the CBA vote since the owners don’t believe they need player approval for that change.
NFLPA president Eric Winston tweeted after the league’s vote that “no deal is finalized until the players vote.”
The NFL’s current playoff format with six teams in each conference has been the norm since 1990. The new format would give only the team with the best record in each conference a bye into the divisional round and deliver six games during Wild Card Weekend.
The NFL’s active collective bargaining agreement was signed in July 2011, ending a four-month lockout. The 10-year pact runs through the 2020 season.