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Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins says CBA talks ‘won’t be as simple’ this time around

Malcolm Jenkins

Malcolm Jenkins is already leading the charge among his fellow players to overhaul the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement. With the current CBA set to expire after the 2020 season, the Philadelphia Eagles cornerback has begun setting the tenor of future negotiations between the NFL Players’ Association and league owners, publicly suggesting the talks will be more complicated than in years past due to the presence of new player leadership.

“That’s yet to be seen,” Jenkins told ESPN’s Tim McManus when asked if he believes the discussions could be contentious. “But I’ve got a feeling it won’t be as simple as it was last time just because you have more players like myself who have been through the lockout before, saw how the NFLPA leadership handled that into where we are now, which I don’t think was a bad deal but there is a lot that I feel like we want to get back as players, or get as players.”

The current CBA, ratified in 2011 following a four-month lockout, decreased the players’ revenue share from 51 percent to 47 percent, a concession made in exchange for reduced offseason workloads and post-playing health and financial considerations. According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, the NFLPA will look to increase its share of revenue in coming CBA negotiations.

Jenkins, the Eagles’ player representative for the NFLPA, believes the union will be in a better position during future discussions with owners because more young players are taking an active part in the process. A record number of players, for instance, recently attended a meeting of player representatives in Miami.

“We have a big initiative to have a lot of the younger players come in to understand how our union works, understand what that means when it comes to labor negotiations, something that I don’t think we really had a grasp on the last time we went into negotiations as a body,” Jenkins said, “so it was encouraging to see so many guys there that weren’t reps, that had no vote but were there just to have their voices heard and to learn kind of how all those things work.”

Preliminary talks between players and owners are expected to take place in mid April, New York Giants owner John Mara said at the annual owners’ meeting last week.