Late last night the NFL and NFLPA fine-tuned the last remaining details of the new CBA. A vote will be held today where the representing players must decide if they accept the new terms. If they do, then all free agents who have been signed will be allowed to practice with their teams and the season can continue uninterrupted. Such things are never a guarantee but there seems to be little doubt that the agreement will be made.
Since the Giants are holding practices later in the evening, this would mean their free agents should be able to attend as early as tonight.
One of the main issues that was holding up the term agreement was Roger Goodell’s insistance in maintaining full control over any and all discipline imposed under the personal conduct policy. NFLPA finally caved, though it is not yet evident why.
It should not be a surprise to anyone that Goodell wanted to keep this power, given is extremely vocal views on the conduct of the players and his reputation for strong punishments. Overall I feel he has been pretty reasonable in his handling of players who have clearly crossed the line, and I admire the fact that he wants to give second chances to players who show remorse, even if I don’t always agree with his decisions. But “personal conduct” and it’s meaning draws a fine line between what is acceptable behavior and what is not. The NFL has certain rules that are just plain stupid, and we don’t have to look too far beyond those who have been penalized for celebrating a touchdown to see how far these rules have gone. Can’t help but wonder where else Goodell will exert his power.
The ratification of this agreement will also mean that all teams must be within their salary cap by Friday. As of Tuesday, the Giants are just below the cap, with $290,000 to play with.