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Breaking: NFL owners opt out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement


NFL clubs today voted unanimously to exercise that option and to continue negotiating a new agreement for the 2011 season and beyond that will work better for both the clubs and the players.

What does this mean to fans and games on the field?
Even without another agreement, NFL football will be played without threat of interruption for at least the next three seasons. The 2008 and 2009 seasons will be played with a salary cap. If there is no new agreement before the 2010 season, that season will be played without a salary cap under rules that also limit the free agency rights of the players. If not extended, the agreement would expire at the end of the 2010 league year.

We are resolved to do our best to achieve a fair agreement that will allow labor peace to continue through and beyond the 2011 season.

Pat Kirwan of writes about how this will affect free agency:

The one factor fans have heard the most about is that 2010 and 2011 would be "uncapped" years. But there are three main trigger points that will go off in 2010 if there isn't a new CBA in place, and they may offset the fear of life with no salary cap. They are: 1) free agency will require six years of service (instead of four years in 2010 and five years in 2011); 2) teams will have three tags to use to restrict free agents instead of one tag, as they do now; and 3) teams that go deep in the playoffs could have some spending restrictions.