NFLPA

NFL, NFLPA reach agreement on 2020 return to play plan

NFL, NFLPA reach agreement on 2020 return to play plan

The 2020 NFL season will go on as scheduled.

On Friday, the NFL and NFL Players Association reached a deal to modify the Collective Bargaining Agreement amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFLPA Executive Committee voted unanimously to recommend the proposed changes to the CBA, and player reps approved.

The agreement will allow training camps to start on time, and adjust the salary cap due to the loss of ticket revenues this season.

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Here are some of the reported details of the NFL and NFLPA's agreement:

  • Training camps are set to open on time on July 28.
  • Teams have the option to trim roster sizes in training camp from 90 to 80 players.
  • No more than 80 players can be in the same facility at once.
  • Salaries and incentives will go away if the 2020 season is forced to stop. Players who lose guaranteed money will be refunded later.
  • The 2020 salary cap of $198.2 million will remain in place.
  • Players can take a COVID-19 opt out if a family member is sick.

Full practices will not be permitted until the 21st day of camp. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated has the full timeline below:

New England Patriots players will undergo COVID-19 testing next Monday and Tuesday. For those who test negative, the official reporting date is Friday, July 31.

The NFL season is set to begin Sept. 10 with the Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Houston Texans.

For NFL, NFLPA the hard part still looms — figuring out the money

For NFL, NFLPA the hard part still looms — figuring out the money

If a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Which is why NFL players ought to be watching their financial backs since the league agreed Monday to a couple of key safety demands the players wanted before training camps opened.

The league agreed to daily testing for the first two weeks of camp. If a team has a positivity rate below five percent, testing will drop to every other day. If the positivity rate for a team goes back above five percent, daily testing will resume.

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Test results are also supposed to be returned in 24 hours. The league is reportedly spending $75 million according to Ben Fischer of Sports Business Daily. That likely helps explain why much of America is dealing with at least a two-day wait for results that can stretch to as many as two weeks.  

The league also surrendered on preseason games. There won’t be any.

Initially, the league proposed two. Then it was reported they were willing to drop to just one before reportedly saying, “OK, no preseason.”

From a distance, all of this looks like the owners are being very reasonable. Magnanimous, even.

So what’s the catch? Well, there are a couple.

First, the schedule tweaks with no preseason games was recommended by the joint committee the NFL and NFLPA convened to give its opinion.

I don’t know if the owners get a ribbon for following the guidance suggested by the panel it helped put together.

Second, these are not bargaining “concessions.” These are what the players and the joint committee established as baseline expectations for a safe workplace. That’s not a bonus for the worker. It’s what’s deserved.

Which brings us to the catch.

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Owners are now going to sit across the table from the players, fold their hands and say, "Look fellas, we gave you everything you asked for including no preseason games ... we are not taking a bath on the financial side. We are not paying you fully guaranteed contracts if you don’t play a full season. The season will not 'toll' on your contract if we play fewer than six games and have to shut down. We are not splitting up the revenue dip over a 10-year period. We are not bumping up the opt-out stipend of $150,000 or changing the drop-dead, opt-out date from August 1. We did our part and met you on the testing and preseason. You now have to meet us.”

To which, players will say, "Wait, giving us a safe workplace is a right, not a benefit. We should be so thankful we give you money back? When we are the ones assuming ALL health risk? Sorry. No.”

A series of tweets Monday night by NFLPA Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs George Atallah seemed aimed at establishing this as well.

While it may not have been easy, relative to the financial part, it may end up seeming like it was. Because there’s squabbling to come. At the very least.

Report: NFL has offered NFLPA to play zero preseason games in 2020

Report: NFL has offered NFLPA to play zero preseason games in 2020

It looks like the NFL Players Association will get its wish, as the NFL reportedly has offered the union to forgo the preseason altogether.

The NFL had shortened the 2020 preseason from four games to two, but the NFLPA wanted zero. According to multiple reports, the league is willing to give in.


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This marks another big step toward starting training camps on time, as the NFL and NFLPA also reached an agreement on COVID-19 testing protocols Monday.

Obviously, zero preseason games will hurt the chances of undrafted free agents making it onto regular-season rosters. But during a season in which many players already are wary of taking the field, it doesn't make much sense for them to risk their health in meaningless games.

There still are a few hurdles for the NFL and NFLPA heading into the 2020 campaign, but Monday certainly was a big step in the right direction.