Early Thursday morning, NFL players received their ballots to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement with voting officially open until 11:59 ET on March 12.
The new CBA deal, which would run through the 2030 NFL season, was approved by owners on Feb. 20 and now its fate waits upon the players’ vote. With the new CBA deal measuring 456 pages, there is plenty for the voters to peruse, but there are some who have already allowed their voices to be heard via social media.
Most notable have been the likes of standout quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, who have made it known they are voting no, while Dolphins signal-caller Ryan Fitzpatrick sent out his plans to vote yes.
Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is a yes on the proposed CBA pic.twitter.com/kmmZWPaCoN
Rodgers sent out a lengthy statement regarding his decision to vote no before ballots were sent out and was steadfast in his belief on Friday, stating his belief that "we should have stood firmer on revenue and player safety instead of trying to get to these concessions" in an interview with ESPN Milwaukee.
Though those on social media have leaned more to the "no" side, other such as Lions linebacker Devon Kennard and Giants offensive lineman Nate Solder have let their support of the new deal be known.
One of Solder’s prevailing beliefs is that the proposed new deal will be beneficial for "core players." "Minimum salaries would go up significantly, with bumped-up benefits for current players and retired players," Solder told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. "We’d increase the practice squad [from 10 to 14 by 2022]. Work rules would improve. I don’t think it’s perfect, but we’re making incremental gains on player health and safety. Some players have fallen victim to the thought if we turn this down, we’ll get something better. We might, but we might not. You have a couple of guys on Twitter who have millions of followers criticizing the deal. Other guys who support it might have 5,000 followers. Their voices aren’t loud. In some ways, I’m trying to be a voice for the voiceless."
The "no" contingent has been more active, with standout talent and big names such as Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald, Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs, Rams running back Todd Gurley and Browns receiver Jarvis Landry posting their votes following Thursday’s news and following the likes of Rodgers, Wilson and J.J. Watt’s previous sentiments.
Hard no on that proposed CBA.
It could be argued that publicizing their voting stance will change the public narrative and/or influence other players’ votes, but nothing will be official until ballots are counted.
For the new CBA to pass, a majority approval is needed. Though it remains to be seen how many players will vote, a simple majority is all that is called for to move the new CBA into effect.
Some have already put forth what their votes will be, but a final true tally will come next Thursday.
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