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Russell Wilson tweets against proposed NFL collective bargaining agreement: 'I VOTE NO'

Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times on

Published in Football

INDIANAPOLIS -- Conventional wisdom among those who follow the NFL is that its players are likely to approve a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) proposal that was sent by the union's leaders to the general membership for a vote late Tuesday night.

But the league's highest-paid player, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, will not be voting for the proposal.

Wilson, who is often portrayed as staying out of controversy whenever possible, waded willingly into the CBA debate Wednesday morning with a tweet saying the NFL is lagging behind the NBA and MLB in how it treats players, ending with an emphatic statement that "I VOTE NO."

The new CBA calls for a move to a 17-game season as early as 2021 (and an expansion of playoffs to 14 teams as early as the 2020 season) in exchange for, among other things, an increase in the total% of league revenue devoted to player salaries to up to 48.5% once the league approves a 17-game schedule, from the current 47%.

Many players have called for a 50-50 split, and Wilson's tweet is likely a reference to the fact that MLB (48-52%) and the NBA (50%) give a higher percentage of revenue to the players.

Wilson's tweet also referenced another talking point of some prominent players: there is no reason to make a new deal now when the current CBA goes through the 2020 season (technically expiring in March 2021).

 

"WE should not rush the next 10 YEARS for Today's satisfaction," Wilson said.

Owners are thought to want a new deal approved now so they can begin negotiating new TV deals immediately with the knowledge that they have 10 years of labor peace (the CBA would go through the 2030 season) and before what they think could be some potential volatility in TV ratings and the economy due to the upcoming presidential election.

Former Seahawks Russell Okung and Richard Sherman are each part of the NFL Players Association Executive Committee and have spoken out against the CBA proposal, as has current Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett, who tweeted over the weekend "NO DEAL!!!", while middle linebacker Bobby Wagner also is reported by ESPN to have been a "vocal participant" in a conference call with union leaders last Friday. Wagner reportedly was "challenging" five members of the executive committee who voted to approve the deal.

Linebacker K.J. Wright is the Seahawks player rep, with Wagner serving as alternate. Wright has not indicated publicly how he feels about the proposal, which was reported to have been approved by player reps and sent to the membership for a vote by a vote of 17-14 with one abstention.

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