NFL Rookie Contracts and Drug Policy Reportedly Sticking Points in New CBA

William Pitts
Oakland Raiders v Minnesota Vikings
Oakland Raiders v Minnesota Vikings / Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The NFL's current collective bargaining agreement will expire after the 2020 season, and negotiations between league owners and player leadership have been ongoing for months.

While much of the attention has focused around potentially expanding the regular season and increasing the postseason bracket, those are not the only concessions at stake. According to, the players' side is seeking a change to the fifth-year option on rookie contracts to make it less restrictive.

At the end of the NFL rookie contract for first-round draft picks, which typically lasts four years, teams have the option to pick up the player for a fifth year at a substantial raise. In the current CBA, the option is non-negotiable, and terms that apply to other contracts cannot be added into the FYO.

According to's Tom Pelissero, the players are also in "high-level" discussions about making the NFL's drug policy more lenient towards marijuana, which both sides are reportedly "on board" with, and have also made tentative agreements on workplace rules, minimum salaries, former player benefits, and grievance procedures.

While there is no firm timetable for a new CBA to be announced, the next key date in the league's business calendar is the fall owners' meetings on October 15-16 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.