NFL Players Ratify Collective Bargaining Agreement

190823-NFL-100_logo_PBS (AP)

NFL players have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement that runs through the 2030 season.

NFL owners approved the new CBA Feb. 20 and sent the 456-page proposal to players to vote. A simple majority was needed to pass it.

"We are pleased that the players have voted to ratify the proposed new CBA," Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement, "which will provide substantial benefits to all current and retired players, increase jobs, ensure continued progress on player safety, and give our fans more and better football."

The NFL Players Association reported that the new CBA passed by a vote tally of 1,019-959.

The new CBA includes the expansion of the playoffs from six to seven teams in each conference, beginning in 2020, and an increase in regular-season games from 16 to 17, starting in 2021 at the earliest.

The new playoff format will add one extra game in each conference during wild card weekend, with the second seed hosting the seventh seed. In the past, the top two seeds had a first-round bye. But now only the No. 1 seed in each conference will earn the first weekend off.

This is the first time the NFL playoff field has expanded since it went from 10 to 12 teams in 1990.

In addition to the regular-season schedule expanding to 17 games, every team will play one fewer preseason contest. The slate of Thursday night games the fourth week of the exhibition season will be eliminated, giving every team a bye week in advance of their regular-season opener.

This is the first time the NFL regular season has expanded since it went from 14 to 16 games in 1978.