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New NFL collective bargaining agreement narrowly passes, 17-game seasons coming

There will be no strike.

Bud Light And Marcus Allen Launch NFL Fan Camp Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Bud Lite

The NFL players voted this week to approve the new proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported. According to MMQB’s Albert Breer, the vote was an incredibly close one, with 1019 players voting for the proposal and 959 players voting against it.

The agreement will extend labor agreements for 10 more years and will include some significant changes to the way the game is played. Most notably, the NFL will soon be moving to 17-game seasons, with one fewer preseason game played. Additionally, playoffs will extend their field by one team per conference, meaning instead of 12 teams in the playoff bracket there will be 14, with only one team getting first-round bye. You can read the entire CBA proposal here.

The 17-game schedule will reportedly begin as soon as the 2021 season, while the playoff expansion happens immediately.

With labor negotiations now in the past, all focus is on the league new year, which is currently scheduled to start on Wednesday, with the legal tampering period of free agency due to start at noon eastern time on Monday. However, there is growing belief that the coronavirus will push back those dates.

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