NEW YORK — The NFL players’ union extended the deadline by two days for its members to vote on a new labor agreement with the league.

Ballots from some 2,500 members now are due at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday. The NFL Players Association gave no reason for the extension, though reaching so many players to meet the previous deadline of one week certainly can present logistical problems.

The union said on Twitter the extension came after a vote by player representatives.

“Every vote matters and we encourage all players to review the materials sent via email in order to make an informed decision,” the union wrote.

The 32 NFL owners approved the deal last month. The NFLPA’s executive board then rejected it 6-5, but the player reps voted 17-14 in favor. A simple majority of the union membership is required to accept or reject the contract that would run through the 2030 season.

Every player who was a dues-paying member during the 2019 season received a ballot, the NFLPA said. Votes will be confidential and received by an independent auditor.

The owners need labor peace to maximize their leverage in the next round of billion-dollar television contracts. With the owners unwavering in their favor of a 17-game regular season, which would begin as soon as 2021 and no later than 2023, players have focused more on safeguards for the additional wear and tear, additional roster spots, and an increased share of the revenue that would grow with the extra game.

Many high-profile players have adamantly spoken out against the proposal, including Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, Houston defensive end J.J. Watt, Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey and Minnesota wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

Their primary contention with the terms is that they don’t go far enough to reward and protect the players for the extra game. Pouncey went so far as to announce recently on social media he was arranging a contingency fund with fellow critics Mike Pouncey, his brother, and Russell Okung that would assist young players in the event of a strike. Okung also is running for NFLPA president, a job Eric Winston is leaving.

This CBA would give a bigger boost to the rank-and-file players than usual, with a roughly 20% hike to the minimum salary right away, to $610,000. That figure would top $1 million by 2029.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in an unusual move is endorsing the labor agreement the players’ union currently is voting on, citing pension benefits for its inductees and other former players.

Tight end Rhett Ellison announced his retirement after eight seasons, including the last three with the New York Giants. Associated Press/Bill Kostroun

GIANTS: Tight end Rhett Ellison has retired after eight seasons in the NFL.

Ellison played at Southern California before being selected in the fourth-round of the 2012 draft by the Vikings. He spent five years in Minnesota before joining the Giants as a free agent in 2017, signing a four-year contract.

As a Giant Ellison started 33 games and caught 67 passes for 674 yards and four touchdowns. His 2019 season was cut short due to a concussion suffered against the Jets on Nov. 10.

BILLS: Two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press that veteran cornerback Josh Norman has agreed to sign a one-year contract with Buffalo.

RAIDERS: Las Vegas released linebacker Tahir Whitehead after two seasons as a starter. The move saves the Raiders more than $6 million on the salary cap for 2020 as the team looks to overhaul a struggling defense.

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