Fins’ Fitzpatrick says he’s voting for new CBA

  • Covered the Broncos for two seasons with the Denver Post
  • Graduate of the University of Houston
  • A native of Jackson, Miss.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has publicly announced that he will be voting “yes” for the league’s proposed collective bargaining agreement that was sent out to players on Thursday morning. It makes him the most prominent player to publicly announce his “yes” vote for the CBA thus far.

In a video sent to ESPN’s Trey Wingo, Fitzpatrick detailed why he’s confident in his “yes” vote. He cited increased minimum salaries, marijuana drug policy change, increased roster spots, better work condition/environment, better practice squad pay, less hitting in training camp and increased benefits for current and past players.

Fitzpatrick cited in-season meetings that every team had with NFLPA leadership where they discussed the parameters of a new CBA and what players wanted them to fight for in the negotiation room.

“There was a ton of different things that we said we wanted to be addressed,” Fitzpatrick said. “The vast majority of those were hit and addressed in this CBA. 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 and pending ballots has been very polarizing. There has been strong public dissent about the new CBA via social media by many NFL stars like 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 and Maurkice Pouncey.

Health and wellness paired with the new proposed 17-game schedule and a desire to get more benefits in negotiations with the NFL are among the reasons why many players are publicly voting “no.”

Fitzpatrick said he spent the last few weeks gathering information from both sides of the debate, NFLPA leadership, ex-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 March 12 at 11:59 p.m. EST to cast their vote for the new CBA via DocuSign. The new CBA will pass if it receives a simple majority (50% + one vote) of all ballots sent in. It would be under effect for the 2020 league year with changes related to the 17th game not in session until the 2021 season at the earliest.

In January, Fitzpatrick said he intends to play his 16th NFL season and his second with the Dolphins. He’s under contract with the Dolphins, who also want him back, for the 2020 season. The expectation is that Fitzpatrick will enter the spring as the Dolphins incumbent starting quarterback.

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