Can Mike Sims-Walker and the other free agent additions start practicing today?
A post about the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement? Isn't all that nasty business over? Almost. Working late into the night representatives from the NFL and the NFLPA hammered out the final details of the new CBA, the one that will govern the NFL for another decade. Several details had to be worked out between the league and the union, including a big one in player discipline.
The biggest change is just how limited the NFL commissioner is in his powers now. Once the last word in player discipline, the new CBA includes an appeals process for on-field incidents. Punishments merited out by Goodell, or whoever the commissioner happens to be down the road, can be taken to a set of appeals officers hired jointly by the league and the NFLPA.
That covers only on-field incidents. How the more entertaining gray area of off-field incidents are handled remains to be seen.
Players will vote on the new CBA today, and have the whole thing wrapped up by 4 p.m. Eastern, though it could be earlier. That means the St. Louis Rams free agents, including restricted free agents who signed deals, can practice today, though not at the 1:50 p.m. start time. There is the possibility that it could be done sooner.
Teams must also be under the salary cap by 4 p.m. today. That could mean a flurry of activity as teams try and make that happen.
Hello labor peace.