INDIANAPOLIS – A new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA is expected to become official in the coming weeks. All that’s left prior to ratification is a simple majority in a vote among the approximately 2,000 active NFL players.
I previously covered the major bullet points in the new deal, chief among them a 17-game season set to begin in 2021 and a $100,000 boost to all minimum contracts.
But noticeably absent from the proposed CBA is lifetime healthcare, or anything resembling an improvement to healthcare for former players. It turns out it was never even on the negotiating table.
Contrary to what you might expect, the reason for that had nothing to do with the owners. Instead, lifetime healthcare was never discussed because no insurance company would write the policy, a source told NBC Sports Northwest.
The NFLPA explored possible solutions ahead of negotiations and came up completely empty.
“That’s what we as a union found out when we searched for avenues to make it happen,” the source said. “No one would even give us a number.”
The current proposal has players divided. The executive council voted against the deal 7-4, but the reps from each team voted in favor 17-14 with one abstention. Those votes came after four hours of meetings between the NFL and NFLPA and another four hours of meetings among just the NFLPA.
Those who were hoping for more will likely have to settle for what’s currently been negotiated. A full player vote is expected in a few weeks once the union’s attorneys draft the document, per ESPN’s Dan Graziano.