The NFL is doing whatever it can to limit the potential financial losses for the 2020 season, which will be directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The league has proposed that 35% of each player's salary is held as a way to eschew costs for the lost revenue the league may face due to the pandemic, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero,
The NFLPA informed its board of representatives today that the NFL proposed 35% of player salaries be held in escrow to help manage costs during the 2020 season, per sources.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 7, 2020
It's one option on the table if revenue is impacted leaguewide by COVID-19.
As expected, the idea did not sit well with many of the league's players.
Several players across the NFL, such as Saints star wideout Michael Thomas and Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, laughed at the idea on Twitter.
Lol everyone will sit out and not play until they get their stuff together before we do this 😂 https://t.co/cqOuQfQvr8— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) July 7, 2020
Bro what?!? 😂😂😂 https://t.co/uvqpgEnJ8A— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) July 8, 2020
Has to be a joke lol 😂😭😭. Roger and those owners better use their billions and put it in escrow or plan accordingly. Our health is way more important. This is about as backwards as it gets 😭😂😂🥴 https://t.co/Egq2RaYsuO— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) July 8, 2020
Agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents numerous clients across the league, called the proposal an "absurd ask by the NFL."
This is an absurd ask by the NFL. If anything the players deserve a bonus for playing with the added risk of contracting Covid 19 and potentially passing it on to their families. https://t.co/4REP0ToP4E— Drew Rosenhaus (@RosenhausSports) July 7, 2020
Detroit Lions cornerback Jamal Agnew simply said, "no thank you."
No thank you. https://t.co/xp3uBZLqdY— Mal (@jamalagnew) July 8, 2020
A labor war in the NFL could begin just days after Major League Baseball and its players association ended an ugly fight with a commissioner-imposed 60-game season. The NFL will hope to avoid any type of back-and-forth the MLB underwent this summer, which ultimately cost the league numerous games in 2020.
Even if players' salaries are not ultimately held and business goes on as usual, the NFL will look significantly different this fall.
It's still uncertain whether fans will be allowed to attend games, and the league has already announced that the first six to eight rows of each lower bowl section will be blocked off from fans to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Additionally, the preseason has already been reduced to two games, with the potential of it being canceled altogether.
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