NFLPA president Eric Winston does not share the enthusiasm of a Washington Post story last month indicating the NFL and NFLPA had "made meaningful progress" on a new collective bargaining agreement.
“Listen, we have been talking for a long time. I still think at some point we’re going to have to get over some of the big issues, and we’re just not there yet,” said Winston, who because he is no longer playing cannot run again in March for NFLPA president. “It is what it is…things come in fits and spurts..and something happens. But I haven’t seen that I haven’t seen evidence of that.
“If we get there, great. If we don’t, like I said, our guys are prepared, understand what our situation is, are educated, and so at some point, we’re going to have to figure it out. Hopefully, it’s sooner than later but again, if this needs to go in the next year, and the next season and even past next season, unfortunately, that’s what it will be. But I don’t have any expectations. I don’t have any timeline on when I’m, you know when we’re going to push this thing done.”
Winston didn’t want to get pigeonholed into what the main issue is between the two sides.
“Money is always going to be a big part of it, but work rules are also a big part of it,” he said. “Minimum salaries and getting money to 60 percent of guys under minimum salaries is a big deal…So I don’t live in a world where I’m going to say this one thing is the most important because I represent 22,000 guys.” The 22,000 figure would refer to retired and active players, though the NFLPA legally only represents the roughly 2,000 active ones."