Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NFL labor timeline

NFL labor history

A chronology of major developments since the league recognized the players association in 1968:

1971: Union files antitrust lawsuit against league, seeking to eliminate "Rozelle Rule," under which commissioner Pete Rozelle could award equal compensation to team losing a free agent.

1977: Union wins suit, gets only limited free agency with compensation under new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

1982: A 57-day strike beginning after two games are played forces cancellation of seven weeks of season and leads to 16-team playoff tournament. New CBA basically returns lost salary to players for games missed and upgrades benefits and health coverage.

1987: Union goes on strike after two games. Owners sign replacement players and, after missing one week, stage three games. During that time, dozens of veterans cross picket lines. After 24 days, union votes to end strike despite no new CBA. A 15-game season is played. Dec. 30, union asks federal judge David Doty to overturn league rules restricting free agency.

1989: Limited free agency system called Plan B begins, allowing teams to protect 37 players and giving them the right to match offers for free agents or receive compensation. Union decertifies as players opt to take cases to court. Rozelle resigns, replaced by Paul Tagliabue.

1990: Doty rules players are free to pursue individual antitrust cases against league. Jets running back Freeman McNeil and seven others who were restricted under Plan B file antitrust suit.

1992: Minneapolis jury strikes down Plan B and awards $1.63 million in damages to four of eight plaintiffs.

1993: After Eagles defensive end Reggie White files class-action suit, CBA negotiations begin. Result includes more open free agency and salary cap.

2006: Tagliabue negotiates fifth extension of CBA. Both sides can opt out of it in 2008. Tagliabue retires. Roger Goodell elected commissioner.

2008: League opts out of CBA, saying its costs are too high and it needs givebacks from players. No salary cap for 2010 season.

2011: Union files collusion claim against owners regarding lack of movement of restricted free agents. … League files charge against union with National Labor Relations Board for not bargaining in good faith because of its plan to decertify. … Federal mediator George Cohen begins mediation sessions Feb. 18.

Associated Press

NFL labor timeline 03/03/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 4, 2011 8:49am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Patriots


    BOSTON — Tests conducted on the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and his attorney said Thursday that the player's daughter is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots for leading Hernandez to believe the sport …

    Aaron Hernandez's lawyer says the former New England Patriots tight end's brain showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. [AP photo]
  2. Bucs' Josh Robinson excited for return to Vikings


    For much of Josh Robinson's four seasons with the Vikings, there was excitement leading up to the arrival of the $1.1-billion U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened last season, just as Robinson signed with the …

    Josh Robinson (26) tackles Chicago punt returner Eddie Royal (19) during a game between the Bucs and Bears in 2016. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. For starters: Rays at Orioles, meeting up with ex-mate Tim Beckham


    UPDATE, 6:05: Cash gave both CF Kevin Kiermaier and SS Adeiny Hechavarria a day off, noting they have been playing pretty much everyday. ... That also gave them a chance to look more at two of their younger position players, OF Mallex Smith and INF Daniel Robertson. ... Cash said he was happy for Beckham that he …

    Tim Beckham made a smashing debut with the Orioles, hitting .394 with six homers and 19 RBIs in August.
  4. From the archives: Account of famed Riggs-King match heightens Tampa mob intrigue


    With the Sept. 29 opening of "Battle of the Sexes" — the movie starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell about Billie Jean King's landmark 1973 tennis win over Bobby Riggs — we thought there might be renewed interest in this 2013 Peter Jamison story from the Tampa Bay Times.

    Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes."  [Melinda Sue Gordon, Fox Searchlight Pictures]
  5. It's not a game, but the names are all the same in this football family


    TAMPA — A coach yells across the field into a scrum of blue-and-white clad football bodies at Jefferson High: "Kim Mitchell! Kim Mitchell, come here!"

    These twins are not only identical, but they have almost identical names. Kim Mitchell III, left, and Kim Mitchell IV are  talented football players at Jefferson High with Division I-A college offers. Kim  III wears No. 22 and plays cornerback while Kim IV wears No. 11 and plays safety. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)