Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has announced that he will vote "yes" for the proposed collective bargaining agreement that was sent to players on Thursday morning. It makes him the most prominent player to publicly announce a yes vote for the CBA.
In a video sent to ESPN's Trey Wingo, Fitzpatrick detailed why he's confident in his vote. He cited increased minimum salaries, a marijuana drug policy change, increased roster spots, better work conditions/environment, better practice-squad pay, less hitting in training camp and increased benefits for current and former players.
Fitzpatrick cited in-season meetings that every team had with NFL Players Association leaders, during which they discussed the parameters of a new CBA and what players wanted the NFLPA to fight for in negotiations.
"There was a ton of different things that we said we wanted to be addressed," said Fitzpatrick, a 15-year NFL veteran. "... The vast majority of those were hit and addressed in this CBA. I think the most important part of the CBA, though, comes down to revenue sharing. For us as players, revenue sharing, getting a larger percentage of the pie, is important, but also the overall growth of that pie is important. Those two things both happen if we sign this CBA."
The reaction to the proposed CBA has been polarizing. There has been strong dissent about the new CBA on social media from many NFL stars, including quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers, running backs Todd Gurley and Kenyan Drake, cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Chris Harris Jr., defensive linemen Aaron Donald and Cameron Jordan, receivers Stefon Diggs, Tyler Lockett, Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills, and offensive linemen Mike Pouncey and Maurkice Pouncey.
Health and wellness, paired with the proposed 17-game schedule and a desire to get more benefits in negotiations, are among the reasons many players say they are voting "no."
Fitzpatrick said he spent the past few weeks gathering information from both sides of the debate, NFLPA leadership, former general managers and agents to make an informed decision. He believes passing the CBA will show solidarity, strength and stability from both sides of the NFL with new TV deals upcoming.
"The possible gains we could make from a work stoppage don't justify the risk we would undertake in voting this proposal down," Fitzpatrick said.
Players have until Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET to cast their votes on the new CBA via DocuSign. The new CBA will pass if it receives a simple majority (50% plus one vote) of all ballots sent in. It would be in effect for the 2020 league year, with changes related to the 17th game not taking place until the 2021 season at the earliest.
In January, Fitzpatrick said he intends to play his 16th NFL season. He's under contract with the Dolphins, who want him back, for the 2020 season and as the incumbent is expected to enter the spring as the starting quarterback.