Players received ballots for a proposed 10-year extension to the collective bargaining agreement from the NFL Players Association on Thursday, and they have seven days to submit their vote.
Ballots are due at 11:59 p.m. ET on March 12, the players union said in a statement. A “yes” from a simple majority of the players in the union would bring an unprecedented 11 years of labor peace to the NFL.
Among the central points in the new CBA sparking debate among players is the addition of a 17th regular-season game starting in 2021, which NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith implied was tied to the reduction of preseason from four games per team to three.
NFL player representatives voted 17-14-1 to approve the deal at the NFL Scouting Combine, clearing the way for the full union vote.
-ESPN wants to pair Al Michaels and Peyton Manning on “Monday Night Football” telecasts, the New York Post reported.
The Post’s Andrew Marchand said ESPN has yet to begin talks with NBC and its parent company, Comcast, in an effort to acquire the right to Michaels’ services. The 75-year-old Michaels currently calls Sunday night games with analyst Cris Collinsworth for NBC and is under contract with the network through the 2022 Super Bowl.
Play-by-play man Joe Tessitore and analyst Booger McFarland currently occupy the ESPN booth, but the network reportedly has been seeking an upgrade. Manning has declined previous inquiries from networks seeking his services, but Marchand said the five-time MVP quarterback might agree to a package deal with Michaels. NBC already has Michaels’ successor in-house in Mike Tirico.
-Quarterback Drew Brees has pledged his allegiance to the New Orleans Saints again.
“Listen, I have no intention of going anywhere,” he told “The Greg Hill Morning Show” on Boston’s WEEI FM. “I don’t care what the offer would be or what the situation might be, I am Who Dat Nation for life.”
Brees, 41, announced last month that he will return for a 20th season in 2020. The NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdown passes is set to become a free agent later this month. His latest comments appear to clarify that he has no intention of joining Tom Brady and Philip Rivers in the free agent market.
-Philadelphia Eagles left tackle Jason Peters will enter the free agent market at age 38.
The team released a statement saying it had reached a mutual agreement to let the nine-time Pro Bowl selection test the waters when the new league year begins March 18.
“We are appreciative of everything Jason has contributed to the organization over the last 11 seasons in Philadelphia, including building a first-ballot Hall of Fame career and helping us win our first Super Bowl championship,” the Eagles posted to Twitter.
-Veteran running back LeSean McCoy won’t be back with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported.
The Chiefs signed McCoy to a one-year deal in September after he was released by the Buffalo Bills. And while he gained nearly 650 yards rushing and receiving in 2019, he was less involved in Kansas City’s offense as the season wore on and was inactive for Super Bowl LIV.
The Eagles and Los Angeles Chargers could be potential landing spots for McCoy, who turns 32 in July, according to Garafolo.
-The Carolina Panthers signed free agent defensive end Chris Smith to a one-year deal.
Smith, 28, played nine games with the Cleveland Browns last season before being released in December.
A 2014 fifth-round pick by Jacksonville, Smith has 68 tackles, 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in 60 games with the Jaguars (2014-16), Cincinnati Bengals (2017) and Browns (2018-19). He made his only two NFL starts with Cleveland in 2018.
-Seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams has been granted permission to seek a trade by the Washington Redskins, multiple media outlets reported.
Williams was named to the Pro Bowl from 2012-18 before he elected to sit out all of last season. Williams cited issues with the Redskins’ medical staff for doing so following what he perceived was a misdiagnosis of a cancerous tumor in his head.
Williams, 31, said he would have reported last season had the Redskins guaranteed the final two years of his five-year, $68 million contract extension. He has one year remaining worth $12.5 million on the pact.
-The Eagles hired Marty Mornhinweg as a senior offensive consultant.
The former Detroit Lions head coach has also been the offensive coordinator for the Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens during an NFL coaching career that began in 1995.
Mornhinweg, 57, most recently spent three seasons as the Ravens’ offensive coordinator (2016-18).
-Field Level Media