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Labor peace seems unlikely when the CBA expires after 2020 season

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Things could change, but the war of words is off and running.

The NFLPA conducts a press conference each year at the Super Bowl, and this one did not offer optimism for the coming labor negotiations. The current collective bargaining agreement runs through the end of the 2020 season. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said the union is open to early negotiations, but emphatically stated they will not simply extend the current CBA.

The last time the CBA came up for negotiation, the NFL had a lockout that carried into late July. Things were eventually sorted out, but there have been plenty of complaints from players about how the CBA shook out. That could create some divisiveness within the union as the next negotiations approach.

The NFLPA did not specify exactly what their top issues are heading into the next negotiation, but we did get some hints. Members of the executive committee brought up contract structure for first round picks and workplace safety, per Pro Football Talk. One has to think Roger Goodell’s disciplinary power is high on the list. And of course Thursday Night Football is a tough one to figure out. I don’t see it going anywhere, but it can be wrapped into workplace safety and player health.

I would be surprised if there was not a work stoppage in 2021, but I suppose crazier things have happened. I don’t want a work stoppage, but as some of you are aware, this kind of stuff intrigues me. I attended law school with plans on becoming a labor lawyer. The whole blogging thing worked out a little better than expected, but I still enjoy reading about and learning about labor law. If we do see a labor stoppage in 2021, I’ll have plenty to say!