By Stephen Diener
It had been a huge point of contention with players such as J.J. Watt, Russell Wilson, and Aaron Rodgers, but the 2020 NFL collective bargaining agreement has been approved by a majority of the players.
So, what does this all mean?
In short, it means you are going to be seeing more regular season football and more playoff teams.
Under the new agreement, the preseason will go from 4 games, to 3. While the regular season will jump from 16, to 17 games. This part of the deal will begin next season in 2021.
The part of the deal that is likely to begin this year is the expansion of the playoff field from 12 teams to 14. This means that you will no longer see a first round bye for the top two seeds from each conference.
Instead, that coveted bye week will now only go to the number 1 seeds from the AFC and NFC respectively.
Another huge part of the new agreement will see punishments and suspensions vastly reduced for positive TCH or marijuana tests. Under the new deal, players will no longer be subject to game suspensions.
That is a huge change from years past, and quite frankly, it makes a lot of sense for the common day.
Many opponents of the deal, including the names I mentioned up top, felt that pushing the league year to 17 games would bring too much wear and tear to their bodies. They also felt it would be hypocritical of the NFL to increase the length of the season given the fact that they preach so often about player safety.
Other opponents feel that the expansion of the playoff field will water down the competition.
But no matter their trepidation, those rules will now become the new normal in the NFL for at least the next ten years.
2030 is when the deal expires.