Ryan Fitzpatrick explains support of controversial NFL collective bargaining agreement

Yahoo Sports

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick announced Friday he will vote yes on the NFL’s proposed collective bargaining agreement. He is the most prominent player to support the controversial CBA, which has been criticized by some of the league’s biggest stars.

Fitzpatrick, a 15-year veteran, said he was voting yes because a “vast majority” of the issues players raised are addressed in the proposal.

Fitzpatrick: Voting ‘yes’ on CBA mainly for revenue sharing

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Fitzpatrick announced his decision in a video sent to ESPN’s Trey Wingo, who shared it on Twitter. He said he spent weeks gathering information and opinions from players who were steadfast on both sides as well as former general managers, agents and NFL players association (NFLPA) leadership.

“I can confidently say today that I’m going to vote yes on the CBA proposal. And there’s a long list of reasons why,” Fitzpatrick said. “First, when we met with NFLPA leadership during the season we gave them things we wanted to see addressed.”

He said those things had been addressed and he was voting yes for increased minimum salaries, marijuana drug policy changes, increased roster spots, better work conditions and environment, better practice-squad treatment, less hitting in training camp and increased benefits for current and former players.

Fitzpatrick said the “vast majority” of issues raised by players were addressed, but the most important for him has to do with revenue sharing.

“For us as players, revenue sharing, getting a larger percentage of the pie, is important but also the overall growth of that pie is important,” he said. “Those two things both happen if we sign this CBA."

"The possible gains we could make from a work stoppage don’t justify the risk we would undertake in voting this proposal down,” Fitzpatrick said in the final 20 seconds that had to be cut for room, per Wingo.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is the most prominent player to say he's voting yes on the proposed CBA. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is the most prominent player to say he's voting yes on the proposed CBA. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

CBA criticized by likes of Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson

Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, J.J. Watt, Maurkice Pouncey and Richard Sherman have all spoken out publicly against the proposed CBA.

Wilson referenced CBAs by the NBA and MLB in saying he would vote no, presumably referring to the fact there are no guaranteed contracts in the NFL’s CBA proposal. He added that they shouldn’t be rushing the vote, a move that has raised eyebrows and concern.

Pouncey went all-in on ripping the proposal:

“F--- that s---,” Pouncey, one of the Steelers’ union reps, said in the video that was posted to Instagram. “Our NFLPA, the dudes at the top, the leaders, man that s--- is all f---ing bulls---. F--- that. They ain’t looking out for the best of the players.”

The addition of a 17th game to the regular season and playoff expansion is drawing ire from players as is the 10-year length with no opt-out.

CBA voting open now through March 12

The NFLPA announced Thursday that ballots had been sent to all dues-paying members. Voting, which is confidential, is open through March 12 until 11:59 p.m. ET.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith seemed confident at the NFL scouting combine that the union would vote in favor of the proposal.

The CBA needs a simple majority to pass and would take effect in the 2020 league year. The change in a 17th game would not kick in until 2021 at the earliest.

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