The NFL have agreed with their players the terms of a collective bargaining agreement that will see them through until 2030.
In a statement, the organisation explained that "[after] 10 months of negotiations, some very public player splintering, a little last-minute tinkering and even the election of a new union president, the NFL has a new collective bargaining agreement that will govern its relationship with players for the next 11 years."
The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) announced that the union had voted for the agreement, with 1,019 voting yes and 959 voting against the proposal.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke after the ratification of the new agreement:
"We are pleased that the players have voted to ratify the proposed new CBA, which will provide substantial benefits to all current and retired players, increase jobs, ensure continued progress on player safety, and give our fans more and better football.
"We appreciate the tireless efforts of the members of the Management Council Executive Committee and the NFLPA leadership, both of whom devoted nearly a year to detailed, good faith negotiations to reach this comprehensive, transformative agreement."
The NFLPA also issued the following statement on Sunday:
"NFL players have voted to approve ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement by a vote tally of 1,019 to 959.
"This result comes after a long and democratic process in accordance with our constitution.
"An independent auditor received submitted ballots through a secure electronic platform, then verified, tallied and certified the results."
The agreement is being hailed as beneficial to the majority of middle-income players in the league, with Tampa Bay's Sam Acho supporting it on the basis of it raising the standards for NFL's middle earners.
"65% of players in the NFL last year made minimum salaries," Acho said. "So when you talk about a 20% increase effectively year over year, in exchange for one extra game, that is a really good deal."
— NFL (@NFL) March 15, 2020
The collective bargaining agreement now means that the regular season will now feature a 17th game and that expanded playoffs will be coming down the line.
However, the league themselves say that there are still issues and technicalities to be ironed out with all stakeholders.
As it is, the 2020 season will take a familiar form, with four pre-season games, 16 regular season games. However, the league is expected to add a wild card team team to each conference meaning that there will be two extra games on Wild Card Weekend.
The mechanics of the 17th match is still yet to be figured out and looks most likely to occur in 2022.