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Players approve new CBA: Doesn’t really help the Saints Cap Space for 2020

It was a very close vote.

NFL: Super Bowl LIII-NFLPA Press Conference John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

In a very close vote the players have voted to approve the new collective bargaining agreement. The vote was 1019 for and 959 against. This means we will have football free of labor concerns until after 2030. Takes effect immediately. Further detains below.

The highlights are the players will now share in 47% of the NFL revenue for the 2020 season. This is due to there still being only 16 games for 2020. A 17 game season and expanded playoff could increase the revenue sharing to 48.5%. New contracts will of course take the 17 games season into contract agreements, but the proposed $250,000 limit on week 17 game checks for insisting contracts was dropped.

Full term sheet of CBA per NFL Network.


— 47% of annual revenue in 2020, plus around $100M in new Player Costs above current CBA for 2020

— Guaranteed 48% share of revenue in 2021, with ability to increase the percentage to 48.5% share through a media kicker which applies in any season the league plays 17 games

— Projected increase of around $5 billion to players during course of a new 10-year deal

Minimum salaries

— $100K increase in 2020 for Rookie Minimums, another $50K increase in 2021 and then $45K increase each year after

— At least $90K increase in 2020 for other minimum salaried players; $80K to $105K increase in 2021 and then $45K increase each year after

— Right to use Rookie Distribution pool to provide additional payments to players at minimum salaries to keep minimum salaries in-line with cap growth

— Increase in minimum salary benefit

— Creation of new four-year player benefit: up to an additional $1.25M in salary excluded from the cap for up to two players

— Bonus payment of 1/17 of his paragraph 5 salary up to $250K to any player whose contract runs through a season when 17 games is played

— Additional cap room per club in 2021 if 17 games is implemented and media kicker does not reach 48.5%

— Performance-based Pay increased to $8.5M in 2020 and $10M in 2021, with annual increases thereafter

— Increase average Minimum Team Cash Spending to 90% over tranches of 3-3-4 year periods

— $100K increase for ROFR Original Round Tender; $250K increase for first- and second-round Tenders for Restricted Free Agents

— Raises for Practice Squad Players to $10.5K per week; total number of 12 players increasing to 14 players, with two unlimited Accrued Seasons players

— Guaranteed Funding Rule increase to $15M per club in 2020 and to $17M in 2029

— Fifth-year Options fully guaranteed for fourth and fifth years at the time option is exercised; Amount of Option dependent on player achievement and no longer based on which slot selected in first round

— Increase in pay for all offseason activities

— Proven Performance Escalators for second-round picks; Super Escalator for rounds 2-7 in fourth year

— Gambling definitions that ensures money is included in players’ definition of All Revenue, including portions of non-football activities

Training Camp Hours

— Introduction of five-day acclimation period

— 2.5-hour limit on padded and full speed practices

— Limit time at facility during a given work day

— Limit of 16 days in pads

- No more than three consecutive days for three out of the five weeks

- No more than two consecutive days for two out of five weeks

— Three-day weekend at end of camp if 17 games is implemented

— Two days off in the first week, one day every seven thereafter

— Limit of four Joint Practices if three preseason games

Improvements to Working Conditions

— Mandated improvements to visiting team locker rooms

— Establish standards for rehabilitation facilities, training rooms and equipment for each club

— Active squad increased by one offensive lineman

— Development of improved safety metrics for fields

Benefit Increases

Active Players:

— Pension increase of 10%

— 401K matching contribution increased to $30K, annual increases thereafter

— Annuity increased to $110K per year; increasing by $15K every other year

— Tuition reimbursement: increases for active and former players

— Life Insurance

— HRA increased to $35K with increases thereafter of to $50K per season, with overall limit increasing from $350K to $450K

— Adding vision coverage to healthcare plan

— Injury Protection of 100% of salary up to $2.0M and Extended Injury Protection of 100% of salary up to $1.0M

— Termination Pay: Increase in mid-season signing benefit to 35% of remaining salary or two weeks salary at the applicable minimum salary amount; right to collect a second time in some instances

— Practice Squad players eligible for $5K of tuition benefits/year and 401K with $1500 match

Former Players:

— Retroactive increase to $550 per month for all pre-2012 vested players

— Expand pension eligibility to all former players with three credited seasons

— Establish a $50,000 HRA for vested veterans with no HRA

— Creation of new network of hospitals in each team city for former players to receive no cost physicals, preventative care, mental health counseling, and out-patient orthopedic services. Coverage of common surgeries to be phased in during course of deal.


— Clear parameters for ownership and usage of player data from sensors

— Overall reduction in on-field fines

— Reduction in club fines

— Implementation of a neutral decision-maker for most Commissioner Discipline cases

Changes to Drug Policy

— Narrows the testing window of THC from four months to two weeks at the start of training camp

— Reduces the penalties to players who test positive for THC, eliminating any game suspensions strictly for positive tests

—Reduces the number of players subjected to testing for THC

— Increases the nanogram limit from 35 to 150

— Right to be paid over a 34-week pay period vs. 17 weeks

— New workers comp process to enable easier filing for players, making injury care more accessible

Of immediate concern to the Saints is the salary cap expected to be be $198,200,000. Adjusted cap of $201,321,819 leaving only about $11,502,100 in cap space.