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NFLPA Develops Contingency Plan to Protect Players from Impact of Covid-19

Football

It’s almost football season, and even though the NFL has been steadfast in their belief that they will absolutely, definitely, for sure go ahead with the season, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is prepping the contingency plan...you know, just in case.

July 16, 2020
TOM PENNINGTON/GETTY IMAGES
TOM PENNINGTON/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: It’s almost football season, and even though the NFL has been steadfast in their belief that they will absolutely, definitely, for sure go ahead with the season, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is prepping the contingency plan...you know, just in case.

What are they doing?: The NFLPA is asking the league to consider a number of options on the (not so) off chance the upcoming season is canceled, including a guaranteed $250k stipend for any player who shows up to training camp but then camp is shut down, and $500k if the season is canceled after it starts.

  • Although the NFLPA and the league are still finalizing “high-risk” criteria, the NFLPA is also asking for additional clauses that would allow players to opt out and retain their salaries if they or a member of their immediate family is considered high-risk for COVID-19.

Are there going to be changes to the season?: We expect some. But so far there’s been no definitive word from the NFL, and they’re running out of time. Training camps are due to start on July 28th, and without a national COVID-19 gameplan from the government, it’s up to the league to figure something out ASAP.

  • In the meantime, teams have started to make their own decisions. The city of Philadelphia has said that no pro team, NFL or otherwise, will have spectators this year, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will likely receive over $10M (!!!) in federal funding to make modifications to their stadium to accommodate fans during the pandemic. A great use of resources.

Yikes. Any other NFL news?: While protesting the murder of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky on Tuesday, Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills was arrested. Stills — who was one of the 87 protesters arrested — has since been released, but could face a felony charge.

  • While the Texans are “gathering more information” before they make any official statement, Stills has been receiving major support from his fellow players.