- 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.
NFLPA executive DeMaurice Smith sent a letter to all certified player agents asking them to encourage their clients to save their money just in case of a work stoppage. This shouldn't be taken as a sign that talks aren't going good. The current CBA expires in the Spring of 2021 pic.twitter.com/PHCWkkcPtD
— Lee Harvey (@MusikFan4Life25) May 29, 2019
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|
*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.
NFL back to CBA negotiating tactic used in 2011: float idea of 18-game schedule, get strong pushback from players (and media), then look reasonable backing off it while subtly gaining other concessions.
— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) May 30, 2019
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.
Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) says he & @DeAndreHopkins talked bout more than just football: "We also talked about some CBA stuff, the next contract,lockout,things we can do to strategize as a union, he's ready to take a big role" DeAndre:"Why not help out the future of the NFL" pic.twitter.com/e57cog2Bpp
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) August 16, 2018
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.
NFLPA Exec Dir De Smith sent an email out to all NFL agents this morning, advising them to urge player clients to save money in the event of a work stoppage.
"We are advising players to plan for a work stoppage of at least a year in length," the letter states.
More in SBD.
— Liz Mullen (@SBJLizMullen) May 28, 2019
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.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.