League Central announced on the Friday before Christmas the salary cap would be increased from $9.6 million to a record-high $12.1 million for the 2023 season.
But Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) chair Deidre Anderson says players are potentially endangering themselves by agreeing to new deals while no CBA is in place.
Anderson also hit back at Australian Rugby League Commission chair Peter V'landys for suggesting RLPA chief executive Clint Newton was "scaremongering" after he flagged concerns about the NRL's confirmation of new salary-cap figures with players and clubs.
The announcement - which also included a 153 per cent rise in the value of the NRLW salary cap to $884,000 - was given short shrift by the RLPA, which said it was yet to receive a CBA framework from League Central.
The previous agreement lapsed at the start of the NRL's contractual year on November 1 and the game is operating under the old CBA in the interim.
Asked what the RLPA would say to contracted NRL players considering signing new contracts, Anderson told AAP: "Our advice would be to ask, 'Where's the detail for you to (sign)?'
"None of the (CBA) detail has been presented from the NRL. All we have is the salary-cap amount.
"A young player is going to get very excited when he sees a few zeros.
"If he gets injured part way through, the money that should have been applied to support him medically may not be there and he could be left out on his own."
The RLPA has recommended NRLW players do not sign contracts because there is no CBA yet in place for the women's game and don't yet know the length or start date of the expanded 10-team competition.
Anderson claimed players were "in a very powerful position" and it was an "indictment" that a CBA was yet to be agreed, urging V'landys to put people before dollars and cents.
"I have a lot of respect for Peter but unfortunately when you're dealing with these negotiations they're not commercial ones," she said.
"It's a negotiation about people and that's probably the sticking point, he's looking at it from a dollar value.
"I disagree with the way he has interpreted Clint's comments.
"They're both passionate people who want to do the right thing but he's mistakenly seeing Clint's passion as being emotive."
The NRL said they would re-open CBA negotiations in January but the RLPA say they have received no correspondence since the salary-cap announcement.