Latest On COVID-19 Opt-Out Situation

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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13 comments on “Latest On COVID-19 Opt-Out Situation

  1. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    The city of Philadelphia has banned all large gatherings until at least February of ’21. They have reportedly informed the Eagles that fans will not be allowed at games.

    • the preeminent nfl outsider

      The city is saying that but the Eagles have not commented so far. Most likely they are just stringing it out as far as possible to collect as much money as possible as the second payment for season tix is due this week.

    • findingnimmo

      The thing I don’t get about philly doing that with events till February is what happens if a miracle occurs and a vaccine is working perfectly by November or something. Then u canceled stuff that doesn’t need to be canceled and can do damage to society and the economy. Why not take it month by month or something rather than go half a year out into the future?

      • Black Ace57

        It’s easy. If thinks change and there is a vaccine they will open back up the city. It’s not complicated.

        • findingnimmo

          No it is complicated if the people involved aren’t preparing for the event since it’s canceled.

          • Black Ace57

            I misread what you said. I thought you said that they shut down everything until then. That’s my bad for being stupid.

      • mrjjbond

        You already know that there won’t be a vaccine rolled out at scale by November though. Phase 3 trials require months of follow up to ensure safety and in this case may require even longer to prove efficacy unless they go in the ethically questionable human challenge direction to directly expose participants to the virus. If we want to be very optimistic, let’s call it 3 months from now (phase 3 trials have only begun this month for a couple of the vaccine candidates).

        Once results are available, the vaccines will need to go through the FDA approval process. I have no doubt they’ll attempt to streamline this as much as possible, but this still takes meaningful time. Additionally during this approval process, the manufacturing facility is reviewed for pre-approval as well which is no small task when looking at some of the current vaccine candidates.

        Finally, you’re talking about needing to ramp up production to roughly 1 billion units based on information released thus far about the US’ agreements to obtain 300 million of the first 1 billion units.

        TL:DR – Not happening in November, February sounds more realistic, which is likely why that’s what Philly communicated.

  2. gene95988

    Can I opt out from my job and still collect my paycheck?
    The rich get richer, while the rest of us keep getting screwed!

  3. jscout33

    How’s that work with a salary cap? My 30M/year QB opts out, I pay him, still don’t have a QB, and have to pay someone new? Not like there’s other franchise QBs sitting there you could spend the money on, though.

    Guess it’s not a ton different than sudden injury, but puts a lot of teams in real bad spots when they build a roster and key pieces can decide not to play, but still get paid.

    Whole season (mlb as well) is going to be a bleep show at best, people missing games with positive tests, maybe a team misses a week due to too many sick, etc. not sure either league gets 2020 in without having to fold on the year.

  4. eyeofthebeholder13

    Pro football athletes live in another world until their careers are over and most of them lose everything. They want to get full salaries for volunteering to opt out? LOL Good luck with that bs.

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