In a time when the world seems to be falling apart, a ray of sunshine has made it through the dark clouds. The NFL players have voted to accept the owners’ new collective bargaining proposal.
This is great news for the league and its fans. The new CBA will mean the NFL will have labor peace until at least 2030. There will be debates and discussions over who “won” in the negotiations in the upcoming weeks and months. That’s expected and both sides have good arguments to make, but when you really get down to it, the fans won big.
I’ve never been a pro player or pro owner type of guy, I’m a pro fan guy because that’s what I am. I don’t want players going on strike or deciding to play other sports because the owners are screwing them over. On the flip side, I don’t want the players to run the league like the NBA and MLB making the team secondary. From the fan’s perspective, we won big time.
Selfishly, I am happy that this deal is also a great one for the Kansas City Chiefs. It really doesn’t affect this season much. The salary cap is not going up much and the team wasn’t looking to tag more than one person. About the only place it will affect the 2020 season is if they stub their toes and don’t get the one seed in the playoffs. The new 14 team playoff format will go into effect immediately, meaning the one seed is the only team that gets a bye going forward.
Going forward this is a huge deal for the Chiefs and how they can realistically look at this off-season. There are reports the salary cap could jump from around $200 million in 2020 to $240 to $260 million in 2021. That jump makes it a lot more feasible for the team to keep Chris Jones if they are close to a contract.
People have been worried about the effect that paying Mahomes on the cap will have on the roster going forward. His contract is much easier to absorb with a much larger salary cap. If Brett Veach manages things correctly it is reasonable to say the Chiefs can sign more than just Jones too. Expected high priced free agents like Breashaud Breeland and Chris Harris are now more in play for the Chiefs.
Veach no longer has to make decisions based on this guy or that guy because we can’t afford both. For the next two to four seasons the Chiefs will have the cap freedom to make a lot of decisions they want to make. Eventually, the cap will even out and player contracts will get higher and all the NFL will be back to those tough choices, but in the short term, it could be free for all.
The big names aren’t the only place this new deal helps the Chiefs. One of my favorite parts of the new CBA is the freedom of practice squad players. The new CBA allows teams to call up a practice squad player and put him back on the practice squad without having to open them up to the waiver wire.
This takes the handcuffs off the Chiefs from using their talent evaluation to their fullest. There won’t be guys “hiding” on the practice squad anymore. Now if a player proves their worth during the season in practice the team can give him a shot. If it doesn’t work out as expected they can place him back on the practice squad. They don’t have to fear losing him when they put him on waivers. It takes the risk away of giving a player a real chance.
There are a lot of good things that come out of this CBA. Those are my two favorite things that I think will help the Chiefs immediately. The sports world has had a week of nothing but bad news after bad news. It feels like the first quarter of the Chiefs versus Texans playoff game. I think this new CBA can have the momentum change of a Mecole Hardman kick-off return.