Some clarity has emerged on the NFLPA’s goals in negotiating opt-out provisions for its workforce.
The union is seeking an arrangement like Major League Baseball put in place, with Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reporting the NFLPA is angling for players who are deemed to be at greater risk of developing complications from COVID-19 to receive their salaries if they opt out (Twitter link).
Additionally, the NFLPA is requesting that players with at-risk family members receive an accrued season toward free agency if they opt to sit out the season, Fowler notes. Players who choose to play are seeking $250K stipends if they show up to training camp and the NFL is forced to halt the season. That comes in at less than half the league minimum.
Major League Baseball is giving players deemed higher risks to develop COVID-19 complications (or those who live with family members who fall into that category) pay and service time if they decide to opt out. Baseball players not at increased risk choosing to opt out do not receive their prorated salary nor a year of service time. It is unclear if the NFL is prepared to agree to adopt a similar policy, but given the sport’s increased contact and roster sizes, players will be at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus. It is not yet certain when the deadline would be for NFLers to opt out.
The NFL will need a concrete policy by the time players report to camp. The league and the union continue to negotiate, but many issues remain unresolved. Chiefs and Texans rookies are scheduled to report to camp in less than a week.
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