INDIANAPOLIS — The morning after the NFL Players Association's board of representatives met and voted 17-14 to approve the proposed collective bargaining agreement, a full player body vote likely won't happen this week, with a date still yet to be set.
Discussions among the players will continue, as could additional negotiations.
“The one thing we’re not doing is rushing through this thing,” NFLPA President Eric Winston said Wednesday before entering a competition committee meeting. “Every 'I' will be dotted and every 'T' will he crossed. And when it happens, it happens.”
After a lengthy meeting between the owners and NFLPA executive committee members, the 32 player reps had an extensive meeting of their own. Despite the majority voting to approve the deal, which owners improved slightly by agreeing to give players a prorated salary for a 17th game, there's no clear timetable in holding a vote for the full union membership, which would be the final step in ratifying the agreement. Additional concerns remain regarding aspects of the deal, including the addition of a 17th game.
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The owners have made a strong push to complete the deal by the start of the league year on March 18. But Winston said the players remain committed to getting the best possible deal and not rushing to do so. That point of emphasis was reiterated in the player rep meeting that began late Tuesday night and extended into the early morning hours of Wednesday.
“I was proud,” Winston said. “Our guys are doing a wonderful job leading and a wonderful job standing up for what they believe in. I told them that I know the guys that came before us will be proud. For me, watching those guys come in educated, come in wanting to have an opinion, come in willing to talk to other guys and learn and give back, that’s leadership at its finest.”
Winston didn’t say if he was one of the committee members that recommended voting in favor of the new deal, which is projected to increase the players' revenue share, improve medical benefits and increase minimum salaries.
“I stay private on that,” he said. “Right now my job is to make sure every guy is educated and informed and now it’s about guys making a decision.”
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