Detroit Lions: New CBA agreement should deter future holdouts

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

The new CBA agreement the NFL players recently signed may prevent future holdouts, similar to the ones the Detroit Lions witnessed last summer.

For Detroit Lions fans and NFL fans, in general, there is plenty to be excited about in this new ten-year CBA agreement the players signed Saturday evening.

Starting in 2021, the NFL will be doing away with one of its four preseason games and adding an additional week to the regular season.  A win for the viewer, another football game.  Sign me up.

The cynical Detroit Lions fans say, ‘great now the team can go 6-11 allowing Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford continues to line her pockets.’

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Another benefit this deal provides its consumer, along with the leagues’ ownership, is an additional pair of games on Wild Card weekend.  Now each conference will see just the first overall seed for each conference receive a bye rather than having the top two teams getting a week off.  This makes for more exciting matchups down the stretch, as organizations look to secure the first overall seed. This will start immediately in the 2020 NFL season.

One immediate downside to this new format is there is a great chance a sub .500 team advances to the playoffs each year, meaning the 14 team playoff becomes a bit watered down.  Yes, it’s good in a way, the Detroit Lions can finish third in the NFC North and have a decent opportunity to get into the playoffs or be in the ‘playoff’ hunt. In turn, leaving Martha will be very happy that her team is playing ‘meaningful’ games in December.

Part of this new agreement eliminates a player from being suspended for testing positive for marijuana use.  The overall player vote was considerably close, finishing at 1019 to 959 in favor of the deal.

The new deal is expected to help the league minimum based salary players more than the veteran players, as described by NFL Insider Dan Graziano of ESPN shown here in Sports Illustrated.

"In regards to who benefits the most financially, NFL Insider Dan Graziano of ESPN writes, “It seems the lower-earning players — roughly 60% of NFL players operate on minimum-salary deals — will get the most significant bumps in pay, at least right at the beginning.”A “player playing under a contract signed as a veteran who fails to report to his club’s preseason training camp on time or reports and leaves the club for more than five days” cannot have his fines waived by the team upon return and will not earn an accrued season for that season."

Suddenly the Detroit Lions have plenty of leverage over players such as Darius Slay.  This may be one of the reasons Bob Quinn didn’t rush to agree on a trade for Slay as other franchises did leading up to this potential new CBA agreement.  Probably not entirely, but it undoubtedly played a role.

Players can hold out, but now they won’t be reimbursed, it’s a game-changer for organizations leaving them with plenty of leverage.  If a player wants to hold out, they simply won’t be paid.

As of now, the new league year is set to start Wednesday, March 18th at 4 PM Est.  Of course, this is subject to change as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 virus.

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For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.