By Perry Green, AFRO Sports Editor

NFL players have long made it clear they’re planning on a lockout once the current collective bargaining agreement expires in 2021, three years from now. The NFL Player’s Association even warned players to “start saving money” for what they believe will be a long holdout against the league, as players will be battling at the negotiation table for greater compensation terms, such as guaranteed money in all contracts signed.

But according to one NFL star, players may now be considering going on strike a lot sooner than 2021, if they don’t start getting the money they feel they rightfully deserve.

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley runs to try to playfully intercept a pass during the NFL football team’s practice Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

L.A. Rams running back Todd Gurley recently told TMZ Sports that he believes all NFL contracts should be guaranteed and said the only way to force the league’s owners guarantee pay is to “lockout for a couple years.”

Gurley’s stance on guaranteed money echoes the opinion of many NFL players, including L.A. Chargers offensive lineman Russell Okung, who wrote a lengthy thread on Twitter about why he believes NFL players deserve the same guaranteed money deals that other pro leagues offer players in the NBA and MLB.

“I will never understand how billionaire team owners have convinced the public that the players, who put their bodies on the line every week and make less than 50% of league revenue, are the “ungrateful” ones,” Okung tweeted.

“Considering football’s level of brute, immanent physicality, high turnover as well as the short life cycle of its participants, it would seem to me that NFL players are in the most need of fully guaranteed contracts,” Okung continued.

Okung went on to explain how the current CBA between players and owners needs a full overhaul, not just a revision or extension.

“Why? For starters: the current CBA uses an antiquated revenue accounting method and salary cap rules take up a significant part of our collective bargaining agreement. Salary caps don’t help players,” Okung continued. “This rule had more of a purpose in the past as their were issues with owners making payroll but with billionaires clamoring to be owners and the bids of media rights being north of two billion, is this rule still relevant?”

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor