NEW YORK — The NFL has put the labor ball in the hands of the players.

In a somewhat surprisingly strong decision, the 32 team owners voted Thursday to “accept the negotiated terms on the principles of a new collective bargaining agreement.”

Details of that agreement were not forthcoming from any of the owners or Commissioner Roger Goodell. They quickly scurried from a Manhattan hotel saying only, “sorry, can’t help you,” or “I can’t comment” when asked about the proposed CBA.

Now the onus is on the players, who have a conference call Friday involving its executive committee and player representatives. The NFL Players Association said it would not comment Thursday on the NFL’s announcement.

Such quick action by the owners indicates their eagerness to replace the 10-year labor agreement that concludes in March 2021. Several elements of a new CBA could be implemented for the upcoming season should the players vote in favor of it.

That, of course, is no given. Should the players vote against accepting this proposal or seek further negotiations, the NFL has said the current agreement would remain in place for 2020. A league statement put a deadline on acceptance by the union, saying “since the clubs and players need to have a system in place and know the rules that they will operate under by next week.”

The league’s business year begins March 18.

Among the items in that proposal, according to several people familiar with the negotiations but speaking anonymously because they are not authorized to release such information:

• A 17-game schedule, which always has been a stumbling block in talks with the NFL Players Association. More roster spots per team would be a must for the players.

A 17th game would preferably be played at neutral sites, which one of the people familiar with the talks said could include non-NFL U.S. venues as well as Europe, Mexico and Brazil.

• A reduction of the preseason, initially from four games to three.

• A higher share of revenues for the players; the current number is 47 percent. The cut the players would receive is dependent on the length of the regular season, but would remain below 50 percent regardless.

• An expansion of the playoffs, something the NFL has been seeking for years.

VIKINGS: Defensive end Everson Griffen will become a free agent for the first time in his 11-year career.

According to sources, Griffen has chosen to exercise his option to void the remaining three years on his contract. Though Griffen could re-sign with the team on the open market next month, his unsurprising choice will clear more than $13 million off the books for 2020 for the salary cap-strapped Vikings.

BROWNS: Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry elected to have hip surgery after initially opting not to have the operation.

Landry was bothered by his hip all last season, but still finished with a team-leading 83 catches for 1,1174 yards and six touchdowns. He visited a specialist after the season and decided not to have the procedure before changing his mind after playing with pain in the Pro Bowl.

Landry had estimated he would be sidelined six to eight months if he had the surgery. However, a Browns spokesman said the team expects Landry to make a complete recovery “for the 2020 season.”

WASHINGTON: Tight end Jordan Reed, who was limited to 65 games over his first seven years in the NFL, was released.


Comments are not available on this story.