Inside the NFL’s new CBA proposal: A look at all the potential roster, salary and season changes

A number of big-name NFL players have been vocal in their displeasure with the league’s proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement, but now that the NFL Players Association has passed the proposal to its entire player membership for a majority vote, there’s a chance the CBA will be enacted anyway.

What, exactly, has some players riled up? What kind of changes could be coming to rosters, salaries and the season structure as a result of the proposed CBA? What kind of player-desired changes — like the added “offseason recovery time” advocated by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers — might be missing from the proposal?

Ryan Wilson, Brady Quinn, Jason La Canfora and Jamey Eisenberg get you caught up on all you need to know from Indianapolis for the NFL Combine, listen below.

CBS Sports obtained an updated copy of the proposal, which was distributed to NFL agents on Thursday. Here are some of the most notable rules, regulations and changes that would go into effect under the proposed CBA:

Season structure

  • 2020: 16-game regular season, with postseason expanded from 12 to 14 teams
  • Starting in 2021, the NFL has the option to expand the regular season from 16 to 17 games
  • If/when NFL moves to 17 games, each team receives a bye week in place of a fourth preseason game

Annual revenue split

  • 2020: Owners receive 53 percent; players receive 47 percent
  • 2021-2030: Owners receive 52 percent; players receive 48 percent

From 2021-2030, the base percentage of annual player revenue is “set at 48 percent … irrespective of whether (the) regular season consists of 16 or 17 games.” However, in the event the NFL moves from 16 to 17 games, players would receive a “media kicker” — an additional share of revenue based on the league’s overall growth in TV contracts. A 60-percent increase would boost annual player revenue to 48.5 percent. The boosted player share could go as high as 48.8 percent with a TV revenue jump of more than 120 percent.

Player salaries

  • Immediate increases in minimum salaries
  • $1 million minimum salaries by 2029
  • Any players carrying current above-league-minimum contracts into the new CBA will receive a bonus equivalent to 1/17 their salary if/when the NFL moves from 16 to 17 regular season games

Drug policies

  • Increased emphasis on clinical care rather than punishment (no suspensions for players receiving clinical care)
  • Significant reduction of penalties for marijuana use (no suspensions for positive tests; annual testing limited to first two weeks of training camp; higher thresholds for positive tests — 150 grams instead of 35; violations of law for possession “generally will not result in suspension”)
  • Increased discipline for DUIs (three-game suspension for each violation)
  • Players permitted at team facilities during the second half of suspension period

Work rules

  • Vested veterans (players with four or more accrued seasons) receive up to five days of absences for workouts, including one OTA, without losing offseason workout bonus
  • Mandatory three days off after a Thursday game
  • Maximum of 12 hours at team facilities per day
  • No more than three consecutive days of padded practices at training camp; maximum of 16


  • Teams can designate an additional player to return from injured reserve each year (three instead of two)
  • Active game-day rosters increased from 46 to 48 players
  • Practice squads expanded from 10 to 12 players in 2020-2021, then to 14 players starting in 2022 (including between two and four players with unlimited accrued seasons per team)


  • Increased fines for holdouts and players who leave training camp without permission
  • Players under contract who fail to report to camp on time or leaves the team for more than five days without permission will no longer be eligible to earn an accrued season for that year

International games

  • No more than 10 international games per season from 2020-2025
  • Any team playing more than one international game in a season will pay players a $5,000 stipend for each additional game

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