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CBA ballots sent out; voting open until March 12

The CBA ballots are finally ready for NFL players to vote.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Thursday that ballots to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement were sent to players at 9 a.m. ET Thursday, per a source informed of the situation. Voting will remain open until 11:59 p.m. ET on March 12.

NFL owners approved terms of the new CBA deal, which would extend through the 2030 season, on Feb. 20, sending it to the players' reps for ratification. Last week, after a four-hour meeting to tweak parts of the agreements, the NFL Players Association board of representatives voted to send the proposal to its membership for a vote. The new CBA sent to player is 456 pages long and, as Pelissero pointed out, will take some time for players to get through ahead of their decision.

"The NFLPA has sent out official ballots to every NFL player who was a dues paying member in the 2019 season to cast their vote on a new collective bargaining agreement," an NFLPA statement read in part. "As outlined in our constitution, ratification of a new deal is subject to approval by a majority of our members who vote.

"Player ballots will be confidential and will be received by an independent auditor to ensure the integrity of the process. We encourage every NFL player to review the full collective bargaining agreement and exercise their democratic right to vote."

Now, with the lawyers finally settling the language, the players will vote.

Some big names like Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers have come out against the proposed deal, but others who worked on hammering out the agreement with NFL ownership have pointed out the gains made for the rank-and-file players.

A majority approval from all players is needed for the new CBA to take effect.

The franchise tag deadline is also March 12 and there are currently no plans to push back the deadline, Pelissero reported. If the CBA is approved, teams would have only one tag to use. If it's declined by players, teams will be able to use both the franchise and transition tags this season. Given the deadline falls on the same day as players' vote closing, teams could use the tags on two players but would be expected to void one tag if the CBA is agreed upon.

With the NFL's new league year set to open March 18, many teams and player agents have been waiting to see how the CBA vote shakes out before proceeding with offseason business. We're now a week away from knowing.

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