Free-agent safety Eric Reid has called for a revote on the new NFL collective bargaining agreement, saying that the pact contains language that wasn’t present when players ratified the deal earlier this month.
The players accepted the new CBA in a tight, 1,019 – 959 vote on March 15. The new agreement will be in force through 2030.
Reid Points to Changes in Disability Plan
Reid objects to a section about the league’s disability plan. According to Reid, the language the players voted on would have agreed to lower monthly benefits for disabled retired players who submitted their disability applications starting on Jan. 1, 2015. However, the final language claimed by the NFLPA states exactly the opposite: that those offsets apply to those who entered the disability plan prior to 2015.
Reid’s lawyers sent a letter to the NFLPA on Monday, pointing out the discrepancy, seeking answers, and petitioning for a new vote.
The change in CBA language after the vote, even if it were minor, is a big deal and grounds for invalidation. But here the change has a major and direct impact on hundreds MORE disabled players and their families. Investigate. Invalidate. https://t.co/83J5nSjOWV
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) March 30, 2020
“The change in CBA language after the vote, even if it were minor, is a big deal and grounds for invalidation,” Reid wrote on Twitter. “But here the change has a major and direct impact on hundreds more disabled players and their families. Investigate. Invalidate.”
Attorney Ben Meiselas said that he discovered the new language while discussing the new CBA with the families of disabled players.
“We’ve been obviously critical of the CBA from the outset because it takes from disabled players,” Meiselas told the Associated Press. “And so in advising them, we were looking at it and pointing out where they had issues and where they were going to be likely getting less money. And then we saw it, and we go, ‘I don’t remember seeing this in Paragraph B.’”
NFLPA President Calls for Player Unity
NFLPA president and Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter published a letter regarding the CBA on the NFLPA website on Monday, calling for unity from players.
“Regardless of where you stood on this deal, it is important that we as players come together,” Tretter wrote. “Unity does not mean that we are all in agreement on all issues. What it does mean is that, however the dust settles, we will be there standing shoulder to shoulder with our brothers to continue the fight.”
The CBA contains a number of provisions that were controversial amongst players, including the expansion of the regular season to 17 games, a change that could happen as soon as 2021.
Reid responded to Tretter’s letter on Tuesday, tweeting that he was “disappointed” with the NFLPA’s silence over his claims.
I’m disappointed @JCTretter that your letter did not address that the CBA was altered after vote, harming disabled players. Being ‘unified’ in ignorance helps no one & @NFLPA silence is deafening. Have you forwarded letter I posted yesterday to all members so they know what’s up? https://t.co/9lXzyoaLKV
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) March 31, 2020
So far, neither the NFL nor the NFLPA has commented on Reid’s allegations.
“We’re waiting on an explanation at this point,” Meiselas told the AP.