NFL owners approved a proposed new collective bargaining agreement on Thursday that includes a number of potential changes to the league's landscape.
The NFL Players' Association sent all players a fact sheet highlighting the current proposal, which features an eventual 17th regular-season game and an expanded playoff format.
One of the most significant alterations pertains to the league's drug policy. Players would no longer be given game suspensions for smoking marijuana, as the new agreement reduces penalties against those testing positive for THC.
In addition, fifth-year options would be tied to performance rather than draft position, with salaries being fully guaranteed before the fourth season when the option is exercised, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.
The proposal also includes the following changes:
If the CBA is adopted, some players may still be under contract based on a 16-game schedule when the 17th game is added to teams' calendars. Players on these types of deals will receive an extra check for playing in a 17th game but the amount would be capped at $250,000, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
However, this cap will only apply to contracts negotiated before the new CBA is instituted, Pelissero adds, meaning only a small percentage of players would be impacted.
The NFLPA would need to approve the same terms in order for a new CBA to be adopted. The organization is scheduled to meet on Friday and can vote on the proposed CBA if it chooses to.
Two-thirds of player representatives must sign off on the terms in order to move to the next stage of the process, in which all NFL players vote and an agreement requires a majority.