The new NFL CBA has been approved by all parties. Here are the 3 ways this new deal directly impacts the NY Jets this upcoming season and moving forward.
Amid the novel coronavirus, we could all use some good news right now and we received it early Sunday morning. The NFL and the NFLPA have approved the CBA which means there will be labor peace through the 2030 season and that guarantees that there won’t be a lockout next season in 2021.
All that was required to approve the deal was a straight majority vote and they accomplished that, albeit barely. Per the NFLPA the final voting numbers were 1019 (for the new CBA) vs 959 (opposed the new CBA).
This vote was decided by a 60 player difference, but perhaps the most disappointing piece of information is around 500 NFL players chose not to vote.
This brand new CBA being approved has huge ramifications on the league which is set to start this week. On Monday is the franchise tag deadline (11:59 a.m.) and the legal tampering period starts at noon. Then later in the week, the new league year will start on Wednesday, March 18 at 4:00 p.m.
So why should NY Jets fans care about any of this? Here are the top three ways that the new NFL CBA directly impacts the green and white.
Next: 3. 2020 free agent class just got that much better
3. More free agents will enter the open market
So there are a few items to get into here. First off the NFL salary cap has increased, which shouldn’t be surprising, but the amount it moved up raised a few eyebrows.
The new number is $198.2 million that’s north of a $65 million increase since 2014 ($133 million). Although many NFL experts predicted the salary cap to be even higher.
Currently, the Jets have over $50 million in cap space and with a litany of needs, there will be no shortage of available players to fill their holes. As a matter of fact, there will now be an unexpected influx of talent into the 2020 free agency pool.
When the new NFL CBA was ratified and agreed to that meant fewer tags were immediately available. Prior to this deal being finished, NFL teams were allowed to use two tags (the franchise and the transition) which meant teams could’ve retained two of their pending unrestricted free agents.
Since the NFL CBA is official, now teams can only utilize one of their tags. This means that a slew of free agents that weren’t expected to hit the open market will. Some of the players that could now hit free agency possibly include: Derrick Henry or Ryan Tannehill of the Tennessee Titans, Amari Cooper of the Dallas Cowboys, Dante Fowler Jr of the LA Rams, and Shaquil Barrett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Of these potential players reaching the market, the Jets would be interested in Fowler, Barrett, and Cooper. Fowler and Cooper seem like locks for unrestricted free agency and Barrett is an outside possibility.
Even if the NY Jets don’t sign any of these players, at the very least they’ll provide distractions so other teams can go sign them. This should allow Gang Green to go chase those second and third-tier free agents.
Next: 2. Expanded regular season
The Jets Zone w/ @BoyGreen25 feat @RichCimini:– Fact or fiction on #TakeFlight free agency rumors.– Which FAs #Jets are trying to re-sign ahead of next week.– Joe Douglas, Ozzie Newsome relationship details.– Latest on Quinnen Williams.– Tom Brady?!https://t.co/yWFRXUrPzb
— The Jets Zone (@TheJets_Zone) March 12, 2020
2. 17-game season
One of the biggest points of contention in the new NFL CBA was the 17 game schedule. The owners were obsessed with getting more games (whether it be 17 or 18) and usually if the leadership group wants something they get it.
The key for the players was to make sure if they were going to allow the expansion that they got something worthwhile in return. Some of the concessions included:
- Reduced penalties to players who test positive for THC and completely wiping away player suspensions for marijuana.
- Increased revenue share: previously it was 47 percent and now it’ll reach 48.5 percent. While that may seem minuscule when you’re talking about billions of dollars that equates to a lot of money.
For NY Jets fans this is great news, more football, the better. Although it won’t be employed until at least the 2021 season. While the concept has been approved there are still a lot of logistics that need to be figured out.
For example with a 17 game schedule, by virtue of the math your home games vs away games will be uneven. One proposed solution suggests that the AFC will have 9 home games then the next year NFC teams will have 9 home games and it’ll continue to alternate. Although nothing on that front has been finalized.
More games equal more revenue and more chances to win football games. Although the one glaring negative is attrition. Did you watch the 2019 NY Jets season? In a 16-game schedule, the entire roster imploded with injuries, adding more games means more injuries.
Next: 1. So you're saying there's a chance?
1. Better chance at making the playoffs
The 2010 decade finally came to an end a few months ago, thankfully for NY Jets fans. While it started hot with the team reaching a second consecutive AFC Championship Game, it ended poorly with nine consecutive playoff-less seasons.
Quite frankly it has been miserable for Gang Green fans, but good times are on the horizon starting in the 2020 season.
The new NFL CBA that was agreed to through the 2030 season will now include an expanded postseason. Instead of 12 teams overall and six teams being represented in each conference, we’ll now have 14 teams overall and seven teams in each conference.
Here’s how the new playoff format will work: only one team from each conference will receive a bye week instead of the normal two on each side. This means we’ll now have triple headers on wildcard weekend (three AFC games and three NFC games).
Here’s how things would’ve looked last year if the revised NFL playoff format went into effect:
Here's what last year's NFL playoff picture would have looked like under the new CBA. pic.twitter.com/glgTube9P5
— ESPN (@espn) March 15, 2020
Speaking of looking back, if this expanded playoff format would’ve been around say back in 2015, the Jets would’ve snapped their playoff drought in their 10-6 season. Of course, that was the magical year with Ryan Fitzpatrick and a win-and-you’re-in scenario on the road vs the Buffalo Bills in Week 17.
The new NFL CBA is great news for NY Jets fans. Expanded gameday rosters, more chances at the postseason, free agency money, and an opportunity to improve heading into 2020. Football for one and football for all!