After months of negotiating, representatives for the NFL owners and players union appear to have an agreement in place for a new collective bargaining agreement, with a vote by the players on ratification apparently the only hurdle remaining for the new pact to be approved.
The NFL on Thursday afternoon released a statement indicating that the owners have approved the terms of the proposed CBA, agreed to by negotiators for the NFL and NFLPA. The current CBA was ratified in 2011 and is set to expire following the 2020 season. If approved by the players, the new CBA reportedly could go into effect in time for the new league year, which begins March 18.
Per multiple reports, players and their representatives will hold a conference call Friday to discuss the agreed-to terms. The call could result in a vote on approval among the 32 player representatives, according to the reports.
According to reports Wednesday, both sides agreed to expand the playoffs to seven teams from each conference, up from six, and to increase the regular season from 16 games to 17 games.
—Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen will opt out of his contract and become a free agent, multiple media outlets reported.
The four-time Pro Bowl selection has three years remaining on his deal (2020-22), but the 32-year-old reached two statistical targets in 2019 that triggered his potential exit.
According to ESPN, Griffen needed to register six or more sacks and play 57 percent or more of the Vikings’ snaps. He had eight sacks and played 77.6 percent of the snaps, starting 15 games and tallying 41 tackles and one interception. His departure would give Minnesota about $13 million in cap room with $800,000 in dead money, per the reports.
—The Cleveland Browns expect Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry to be ready for the 2020 season following hip surgery. The team announced that he underwent surgery on Feb. 4, performed by Dr. Chris Larson in Minnesota.
The 27-year-old is expected to return “at some point during training camp,” a team source told ESPN.
Landry, who has never missed a game in his six-year career, shared two videos on Instagram about the surgery. He said he had hoped to avoid the procedure but changed his mind after the Pro Bowl. He caught 83 passes for a career-high 1,174 yards and six touchdowns and earned his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl selection in 2019.
—The Washington Redskins released former Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Reed after a season lost to a concussion.
Reed didn’t play at all in the 2019 regular season after sustaining a concussion during a preseason game on Aug. 22. He was on the receiving end of a helmet-to-helmet hit by Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal.
Reed, 29, has been plagued with concussion issues. Published reports say the one last summer was his seventh documented concussion through his college (Florida) and NFL careers. Reed was close to returning for Week 2 of the 2019 regular season before the symptoms returned. He was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 14.
—Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh will miss next week’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis after undergoing knee replacement surgery, ESPN reported.
Harbaugh, 57, reportedly underwent the operation two weeks ago and his travel has been limited since the procedure. Harbaugh won NFL Coach of the Year honors in 2019 while guiding the Ravens to a 14-2 record and the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Harbaugh has a 118-74 regular-season record in 12 years with Baltimore. The Ravens won the Super Bowl following the 2012 season.
—Baltimore Ravens tight end Hayden Hurst shared details about his earlier battles with anxiety and depression that led to a suicide attempt.
“I’m not this superhero that’s portrayed on TV. I’m a regular person,” Hurst told Jacksonville station WTLV. “I struggle with depression, anxiety and things like that.”
The Jacksonville native’s long-term struggles included a scary incident in January 2016 after he quit pursuit of a professional baseball career and was a walk-on with South Carolina’s football program. A night of drinking while depressed led to him slashing his wrist and waking up in a hospital. He was handcuffed to the bed.
—Field Level Media