“If it’s approved, the league will have labor peace through the end of the 2030 season…If it fails, a period of rancor will settle over the game.” – King on the players’ CBA vote this week
“It’s one thing to get into a work stoppage. It’s another thing to win one.” – NFLPA President Eric Winston to King on the possibility of a work stoppage
“All the Niners would have to say is, Jimmy Garoppolo’s our quarterback now and for the future, and we will not be making a change. But they haven’t said that.” – King on rumors of the 49ers’ interest in Tom Brady
“There’s no guarantee than anyone can transform a team that hasn’t won a playoff game in 30 years into a January winner, but Burrow gives the Bengals the best chance of anyone in this draft to do it.” – King on Joe Burrow
STAMFORD, Conn. – Mar. 9, 2020 – Peter King discusses the implications of NFL players’ vote on the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement, headlining this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King speaks with NFLPA president, Eric Winston, about the vote and the end of his six-year tenure as president, and discusses NFL offseason storylines, including Tom Brady’s free agency, the Chargers re-signing running back Austin Ekeler, and why the Bengals should make Joe Burrow the first overall pick.
Additionally, across NBC Sports, NFL insider Mike Florio and analyst Chris Simms, provide CBA updates and preview free agency across PFT Live and the Simms Unbuttoned podcast.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
NFL CBA VOTE
King on the player vote: “The player vote ending Thursday at midnight is a monumental referendum for the next decade of the NFL…If it’s approved, the league will have labor peace through the end of the 2030 season…If it fails, a period of rancor will settle over the game.”
Winston to King on outcome of the vote: “I would think it would pass. I would think it would pass by a lot. It’s important that we let the process play out, and important that all players understand the issues and vote their conscience.”
Winston on critics questioning the negotiating process: “One thing this has not been is rushed. (NFLPA Executive Director) De (Smith) went to every team during the fall, let ‘em know exactly where we were. We spent 20 hours since the season ended with our player reps. There have been some misconceptions about the process.”
Winston on the negotiations behind the proposed 17-game schedule: “It wasn’t our idea, but the other side has a say too. And we got a lot out of it.”
King on a work stoppage: “If this deal fails, there could be a job action sometime in 2021 by hard-line players…Imagine asking Jimmy Garoppolo to give up his $24.1-million salary in 2021…They’re in their prime earning years, and one year of that prime might be spent not earning anything.”
Winston on the possibility of a work stoppage if the vote fails: “It’s one thing to get into a work stoppage. It’s another thing to win one.”
FREE AGENCY NOTES
King on Austin Ekeler: “Chargers running back Austin Ekeler’s agent, Cameron Weiss, had to beg scouts to watch the Pro Day of his client, from tiny Western State (Colo.), two years ago…On Friday, Ekeler inked a four-year, $24.5-million contract.”
Weiss on Ekeler: “The phrase ‘feel-good story’ doesn’t do Austin’s story justice…I look for talent in places other people in my business don’t. I have to. Western State, I didn’t even know what state that was in.”
Ekeler to King on his reaction to the contract: “When I got to camp, I’m sitting in a room with guys who make $10 million a year. I see what everyone’s making, and I said, ‘Dang! That’s a lot of money!’ That’s why I’m laughing when Cameron tells me about the deal – it just didn’t seem real that I’d be making that money.”
Ekeler: “You know how people say, ‘More money, more problems.’ I think money exemplifies your true character. It’s going to bring out the person I truly am.”
King on the 49ers’ reported interest in Tom Brady: “The temptation is to give this thought zero credence, but I don’t because all the Niners would have to say is, Jimmy Garoppolo’s our quarterback now and for the future, and we will not be making a change. But they haven’t said that.”
King on Brady: “I do not know what Tom Brady is going to do, truly. I don’t even have a good idea. But it is telling that the Patriots have had 64 days since the end of their season to secure him for his last couple of years as a pro football player and have not done so.”
King on the Bengals drafting Burrow: “Cincinnati needs a steely kid who can come onto a downtrodden team and lift it. There’s no guarantee that anyone can transform a team that hasn’t won a playoff game in 30 years into a January winner, but Burrow gives the Bengals the best chance of anyone in this draft to do it.”
Burrow’s personal QB coach Jordan Palmer to King: “When I look at maturity and confidence in Joe Burrow, I didn’t need more than two days…I did not say that he was gonna throw 60 touchdowns passes, win the Heisman trophy, blah blah blah. But it was obvious. And now I think these NFL people meeting him are seeing that.”
Palmer on Burrow at LSU: “He came, he was humble, he bought in, he got others to buy in, he demanded execution across the board and led by example in that category. So yeah, he’s gonna be a great pro.”
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:
- PFT Live: Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss offseason storylines and dive into a free agency preview.
- Rotoworld Football Podcast: Rotoworld’s Josh Norris reveals his first ‘Perfect Mock Draft’ and discusses the recent Panthers-Chargers trade.
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on NBCSN’s and NBC Sports Radio’s PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.