The wait is finally over, and according to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, “Football is back.” After 4 1/2 grueling months, the Players Association finally agreed to ratify the Owners proposal for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
After hours upon hours of negotiations between each groups respective lawyers and representatives, a deal was struck at around 3 a.m. Monday. It wasn’t until roughly 1:30 p.m EST that the players unanimously voted to ratify the owners proposal. Thus giving everyone exactly what they wanted;football.
“I know it has been a very long process since the day we stood here that night in March,” Smith said. “But our guys stood together when nobody thought we would. And football is back because of it.”
When it comes to the specifics of the deal, not everything is known. However, here is the current timeline for the week ahead, according to the NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora:
Monday: The free agent list will be published at 6 p.m. ET.
Tuesday: Facilities open “for training, conditioning” and “classroom” work; trading period begins (no time specified); teams can start signing undrafted free agents and their own draft picks at 10 a.m. ET; teams can begin negotiating with any free agents — their own and those who were with other teams.
Thursday: Waiver period begins and teams can begin terminating contracts at 4:01 p.m. ET.
Friday: Full free agency begins — teams can begin signing their own free agents and those who played with other teams at 6 p.m. ET.
Under the proposed schedule, training camps would open for 10 of the 32 teams on Wednesday, 10 more on Thursday, another 10 on Friday, and the last two teams on Sunday.
According to sources who helped create the documents, training camps canopen on Wednesday, but no teams can be in pads until Saturday. So as a practical matter, no real camp activity will begin for any team until Saturday, but in the new CBA it stipulated the first three days of camp are non hitting, La Canfora reported.