The owners voted in favor of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement on Thursday afternoon. Now it’s up to the players to weigh in.
The latest word paints a picture of the players having some concerns over a “supplemental revenue sharing proposal” that the owners approved, but the players side was unaware of, according to NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith.
Some reports are filtering out that the players now are inclined not to vote tonight. That places in jeopardy the tentative guidelines set forth by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upon delivering the news that the owners approved their proposal.
In summary, the season is set to begin Saturday if the players sign off on the new CBA in the next 24 hours or so. If not, everything is back up in the air and will be pushed back.
For now, here’s how things shake out.
Training camps are permitted to open Wednesday. No padded practices are allowed on the second and third days. The Raiders already are scheduled to kick off camp this day anyway, so no big deal here.
The Raiders can begin waiving players and renegotiating contracts Saturday. That’s a good thing because they will need time to get under the new salary cap limit of $120 million. Teams have until Wednesday to be in full compliance of the new cap limit.
The Raiders and other teams can being voluntary training, conditioning and classroom instruction Saturday. They also are permitted to sign drafted rookies and their own free agents, as well as franchise players.
Free agency starts Wednesday, with players who have four years or more experience considered unrestricted free agents. The new CBA reverts back to the terms of the previous agreement, whereas last year players needed six years or more to be an unrestricted free agents.
This is of utmost concern to the Raiders because tight end Zach Miller now is an unrestricted free agent. The one-year tender he received in March goes away because he no longer is considered a restricted free agent. The Raiders want Miller back in a big way. It’s likely going to take a big contract to secure the long-term services of their leading receiver each of the past three seasons.
As of now, the Raiders exhibition opener against the Arizona Cardinals remains in place for Aug. 11 at the Coliseum.
The Raiders and other teams are free to go after any undrafted free agent Sunday. The Raiders typically are quite active when it comes time to targeting such players. Given their salary cap constraints, they figure to be just as active this time around.
Other items of note include:
— The Raiders are as successful as any team at getting their players to report to training camp on time. However, players under contract aren’t required to report until Aug. 9 before they are subject to fines.
— The ability of teams to carry as many as 90 players on their rosters, beginning Wednesday. They wouldn’t have to get down to 75 until Aug. 30.
— Teams can make trades beginning Wednesday. Trades seldom are made in the NFL, so this isn’t that big of a deal.
Again, the aforementioned dates are tentative and subject to the players approving the new CBA. If that doesn’t happen soon, all bets are off and these dates get pushed back.