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Odds Say NFL Won’t Have Work Stoppage in 2021 After CBA Expires

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made public statements suggesting that he believes the NFL and NFLPA will have a new CBA in place sooner rather than later. Photo by Staff Sgt. Teddy Wade (US Army) [Public Domain].
  • NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has advised players to plan for a work stoppage
  • The current CBA is due to expire at the end of the the 2020 season
  • The last NFL work stoppage occurred in 2011

While all signs still seem to be pointing toward resolution, the NFLPA is advising its membership to nonetheless begin preparations for a potential NFL work stoppage in 2021.

DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFLPA, sent an email to all player agents earlier this week.

The missive advised agents to ensure their clients are financially prepared for a lockout or strike of at least one year in length.

The sportsbooks don’t seem to be buying into Smith’s doom and gloom message, though. Bovada is offering odds on a work stoppage, with the no significantly favored.

Will NFLPA Strike Or NFL Owners Lock Players Out Before 2021 Season?

Outcome 2021 NFL Strike or Lockout Odds at Bovada
Yes +155
No -220

*Odds taken 05/30/19

The last NFL work stoppage was an owner lockout from March 12-July 25, 2011.

NFL, NFLPA Already Talking

Talks are underway between the players and owners toward hammering out the terms of a new CBA. The negotiations began last month and already there have been two meetings, an indication of progress being made.

The tone of negotiating has been described as optimistic and positive.

Among the issues expected to be on the table include increasing the regular-season schedule to 18 games, expanding the playoffs and allocating more league revenue for stadium upgrades.

On the players’ side, they are seeking more guaranteed money in contracts and the exemption of marijuana from future drug testing.

Err On Side Of Caution

Star NFL players Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams,  Richard Sherman of the San Francisco 49ers and DeAndre Hopkins of the Houston Texans have been adamant to their brethren that they’d be wise to begin squirreling away money and building up a rainy-day fund just in case there is a work stoppage in 2021.

Gurley is among those who is a strong proponent for more guarantees in player contracts.

NFL Has History Of Major Work Stoppages

Six times, the NFL and its players have entered into labor disputes. Twice, the battle has spilled over into and impacted upon regular-season play.

In 1982, a 57-day-long players’ strike reduced the regular season from 16 to nine games.

Five years later, another 24-day players’ strike called after Week 2 of the season resulted in Week 3 games being canceled and Week 3-4-5 games being contested by replacement players.

Will Their Be A Work Stoppage This Time?

At this point, you’d have to say no. There doesn’t seem to be a deal-breaking issue currently on the table. Both sides are amicable but as is the case with all labor neogtiations, are posturing.

The bottom line is always the bottom line. Right now, both sides are making money. The salary cap jumped last season from $177.2 million to $188.2 million. That’s the sixth year in a row it’s risen more than $10 million.

There’s absolutely no compelling reason for there to be an NFL work stoppage in 2021.

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