With social activism on the rise across the NFL, the league and the players’ union came together this week to hold a “productive conversation,” the two sides announced in a joint press release. Representing the NFL were commissioner Roger Goodell, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Giants owner John Mara, and Steelers owner Art Rooney. NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith and president Eric Winston were in attendance, along with Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich, Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, quarterback Kirk Cousins, and Jets linebacker Demario Davis.
Many players have engaged in protests during the national anthem, but Colin Kaepernick‘s unemployment still looms large over the NFL. At this point, it’s hard to see Kaepernick getting an NFL opportunity this year, but teams could be more receptive to signing him next offseason.
Here’s more from around the NFL:
- The NFL is working to change the so-called “May 16 rule” which prevents rookies from participating in football activities if their schools are in session, regardless of whether they are still enrolled (link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). No vote is required to pass the change, but the plan is still being finalized. Historically, we have seen this rule affect Pac-12 players. This year, that included Stanford products Solomon Thomas (49ers) and Christian McCaffrey (Panthers). Washington, Northwestern, Oregon, Oregon State and UCLA also had exams after June 1.
- Former Patriots running back Jonas Gray was arrested on Wednesday for failure to pay child support, as Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times writes. Less than 24 hours after turning himself in, Gray was released. Gray ran for 201 yards and four touchdowns against Indianapolis in November 2014 and seemed to have a bright future in New England. However, he has not been on the field since games with the Dolphins and Jaguars in 2015 and has not been in the league since final cuts during the preseason of 2016. His last mention on the pages of PFR came in December 2016 when he auditioned for Seattle.