As players prepare to report to training camp this week, the NFL and the Players Association are finally hammering out details to return to football in the healthiest way possible amidst the coronavirus pandemic. It appears daily testing will be the norm at the start of training camp and teams may have to cut their roster down from 90 to 80. But late Monday night, the NFL made one of the most significant concessions as of yet.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL has offered to cancel all of the preseason games this year.
The NFLPA had been pushing for zero preseason games because they didn’t believe they have had enough time to prepare for game situations with the cancellation of OTAs and minicamp. Instead, they are pushing for a prolonged training camp to help them ramp up to a point where they are physically ready for full contact. Additionally, the preseason presented an extra risk of spreading COVID-19 before the season even began.
NFL owners, on the other hand, were hoping to have some preseason games to test their gameday precautions for COVID-19. It also was an additional opportunity for the league to make some extra money, especially since they’ll lose out on millions of dollars with—at the very least—limited attendance at games this year.
While negotiations are ongoing, it looks like the preseason is on the verge of being cancelled. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has some details on more negotiated terms:
Today also offered — an acclimation period from 7 days to 18 day ramp up. And also opt out for any player has been part of the league’s previous offer. More progress. https://t.co/gt66U3fC6h— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 20, 2020
We’ll continue to update as more information about the status of the 2020 season unfolds. But at this point, it looks like an agreement may be on the horizon and training camp will happen.