The NFL appears to have confirmed that a new collective bargaining agreement could be coming soon.
During a Saturday interview with CNBC, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would like to have the deal in place before the start of the 2019 regular season, which will kick off September 5 when the Bears host the Packers.
“That’s certainly our intent,” Goodell said. “Our intent is to make sure we have a collective bargaining agreement, we’ve been in it for eight years. It’s worked very well, mainly for our fans but also for our players and our clubs, and so we have the structure of a system that works quite well. We’re continuing that dialogue, there are obviously changes we all want on both sides, and I think those are things that’ll improve us and try to make the collective bargaining (agreement) continue to be successful for all the parties, and I hope we’ll do that.”
It had been reported earlier this month that discussions between the NFL and NFL Players Association are “set to intensify” this summer. The negotiating sessions have been scheduled for July 17-19, marking the first time the two sides will engage in talks for three straight days.
The current CBA is set to expire after the 2020 season. While there’s no guarantee an agreement will be reached, both sides are optimistic that they can find some middle ground without a work stoppage.