Despite the NFLPA members vocally against the proposed collective bargaining agreement, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith spoke of the virtues of the deal.
Smith said he understands the positions of Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt, Richard Sherman, Russell Wilson, and other high-profile athletes, but added the focus of negotiations is about the 60% of players who earn the minimum NFL salary. Under the proposed CBA, those players would make roughly $100,000 more in 2020 and surpass $1 million by 2029.
"There was a concerted effort that they wanted this CBA to go to those core players," Smith said Thursday, according to Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post.
The full membership will vote on the deal. It would take only a majority vote to approve the deal, one in which the players' share of revenue will jump to 48%, which is an increase of roughly $3.5 billion.
A 10-year agreement is on the table, and Smith shed some light on why the NFLPA didn't vie for an opt-out clause.
"If $5 billion is projected to come to players over the course of the deal, and let's say there's a change in the way people are viewing the game, there's a massive change in ratings, there's a change in financial markets, I would rather be in a world where we have long-term deals that insulates us against those things rather than a deal where people who are already rich can decide that they don't want to pay you anymore," Smith said, per ESPN's Todd Archer.