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NFL-NFLPA talks proceed “as expected,” with not much progress

Mike Florio breaks down the issues the NFL and NFLPA still have to work out when it comes to testing and containing COVID-19 in locker rooms.

The NFL continues to be a deadline-driven business, and with no immediate deadline for striking a deal as to the various issues lingering between the league and the NFL Players Association on the COVID-19 rules, the two sides did not strike any deals during a bargaining session on Monday.

Per a source with knowledge of the discussions, they proceeded “as expected” without “not really” any news coming from the conversations.

NFLPA Executive Committee member and 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman shared this upate on Twitter: “Good meeting today with management. We were blunt and honest with them we will not compromise our players health in these discussions.”

Again, the league has no obligation to agree to anything when it comes to the protocols for pro football in a pandemic. The league can implement rules, and the players can challenge the overall safety of the workplace via a non-injury grievance filed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

For now, the league is refraining from playing hardball, presumably because it wants the players to fully and completely buy in. If the players don’t agree with the procedures, maybe they become less diligent about avoiding the virus and maybe they secretly root for the kind of outbreak that would shut football down without the players doing something they will not do -- launch a wildcat strike.

At some point, decisions will nevertheless need to be made. The league’s patience and cooperation therefore will not be unlimited. Eventually an impasse will be declared and rules will be implemented, if an agreement cant be reached.