Lions' Devon Kennard backs proposed NFL deal but Darius Slay OK with lockout
Indianapolis — A potential long-term labor agreement between the NFL and its players union hinges on an upcoming vote of the NFLPA's full membership in the coming weeks.
A simple majority is needed to seal the deal, but player opinions being shared on social media indicate that's far from a certainty.
Detroit Lions linebacker Devon Kennard, the team's player representative who participated in Tuesday evening's decision to move the current proposal to a full-member vote, took to Twitter to explain why he voted yes.
"I went back to my locker room and received feedback from as many guys as I could," Kennard wrote. "All the other reps did the same and the overwhelming consensus that most reps brought back were: 1/17th game check for all players, a significant bump in minimum salaries, an increase percentage of the cap, a significant increase in benefits and a better quality of life (camp/offseason) schedule).
"The deal is not perfect, by any means, and there are things that I most certainly wish were different and/or better, but when I took a step back, (the) majority of the things we wanted (are) included in this deal," Kennard continued. "Overall, this is a deal that is going to lead to NFL players getting paid more than we ever have in the past and I LOVE that."
Other team reps, including Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, San Francisco cornerback Richard Sherman and Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, voted no and similarly used social media to share their reasons why.
Adding a 17th game to the regular season is one of the biggest issues for those players.
"Health and wellness of our men is always the most important aspect," Sherman tweeted. "There is no price you can put on that and that is why I voted no. I respect the men that have been part of this discussion and stood up for their locker rooms."
Lions cornerback Darius Slay retweeted Sherman, as well as a video of Steelers offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey's profanity-laced tirade against the proposal. Slay noted he's prepared for a lockout, if necessary, suggesting he intends to vote no when the players have the opportunity to vote.
Former Lions safety Quandre Diggs took a similar approach, retweeting both Rodgers' and Wilson's explanations for voting no and accusing ESPN reporter Adam Schefter of spreading misinformation for the owners.
Diggs also tweeted, "I’m cool with the lockout."
If approved, the new labor agreement would run through 2030. The league is hopeful to have the deal ratified before the start of the new league year in March, implementing the majority of the negotiated changes this season, with the 17-game schedule going into effect in 2021.