The NFL Players Association board of representatives voted to send the collective bargaining agreement proposal approved last week by the NFL owners to its membership for a vote, NFLPA assistant executive director of external affairs, George Atallah, said in a tweet late Tuesday night.
The development came hours after the conclusion of a four-hour meeting between the NFL owners and members of the NFLPA executive committee and board of representatives in Indianapolis. The meeting concluded at around 9 p.m. ET without an update regarding the CBA proposal.
Four hours later, Atallah provided an update and a substantial one at that.
The proposal secured on Tuesday night the approval of a majority of the 32 player representatives to be passed to the union's near-2,000 dues-paying members for a vote of ratification. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that because the board of reps forwarded the proposed CBA without a recommendation, it did not need to require a two-thirds majority.
Per Pelissero, the vote was 17-14, with 1 abstaining.
The vote to ratify the new CBA requires a simple majority, or 50 percent, of players to pass. Pelissero reported late Tuesday night, that that vote is a "virtual certainty." In football terms, Pelissero reported, the league and the players are "on the 1-yard line towards 10 years of labor peace."
Pelissero adds the timing of the final vote to ratify the CBA is still to be determined.
All owners and players left the meeting without commenting. Union reps also did not provide comment at this time.
Tuesday's sit-down, which lasted nearly four hours, was scheduled after the NFLPA executive committee voted Friday not to recommend the owner-approved CBA proposal to its members.
Included in the latest proposal are the option to expand to a 17-game regular season, an increase in players' share of total revenue to at least 48 percent and the expansion of the playoff field to 14 teams beginning in 2020. Owners agreed to remove $250K cap on the 17th game check for existing contracts, but rejected a proposal to shorten offseason, Pelissero reported.
If the proposal is approved this week, the CBA will be thrust into effect in time for the new league year on March 18, which could change free agency and the salary cap. For instance, teams would no longer be able to use both the franchise and transition tag when the tag window opens on Feb. 27., as they currently are allowed in the final year of the current CBA, which expires following the 2020 season.