There would be nothing to discuss right now during a normal offseason. That goes for us and for the league. But this isn’t even close to a normal offseason, which means we’re trying to keep everybody abreast of the viral pandemic still going around throughout the country, and what that means for the state of the 2020 NFL season.
The league and the players union are trying to do the same thing within and between themselves. In fact, the two are set to have another join conference call today to try to iron out further details. Via Tom Pelissero, the NFL is still moving forward with the set start date of training camp, but so much else remains up in the air.
NFL GMs and head coaches were told on calls today the start date for training camps should remain as scheduled later this month, but no decisions on how camps will be structured, per sources.
Translation: A fight with the NFLPA over preseason games is just getting started.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 7, 2020
Basically, what that means is that while they know when they intend to start training camp, they still don’t really have much of an idea of exactly what that is going to look like. And a big reason for that is there still appears to be a pretty sizable gap between where the NFL stands and where the NFLPA stands regarding reasonable measures of safety.
The NFLPA has already issued recommendations that there be no preseason games at all, while the NFL is standing pat at two. The players union is also voted to recommend that there be no 11-on-11 drills, and that for most of training camp, players work in split squads, first of 20, then 40 players, and finally to 80 during the final two weeks of practice.
Josina Anderson wrote on Twitter last night that she was forwarded the following message: “We received a proposed calendar for training camp from the NFL that not only goes against the guidelines set forth in the CBA but includes 2 pre-season games & significantly reduced acclimation periods”.
Agenda item on NFLPA call Tuesday sent out & forwarded to me: “We received a proposed calendar for training camp from the NFL that not only goes against the guidelines set forth in the CBA but includes 2 pre-season games & significantly reduced acclimation periods.” 2 calls Tues.
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) July 7, 2020
In other words, yeah, there is still a lot to be worked out, and not a lot of time left to do it. Rookies can actually be asked to report at early as about a week and a half from now. And the charge that the NFL’s guideline violates the CBA is pretty serious, though without substantiation it doesn’t mean much.
I am confident that the two sides will resolve their disagreements in time for the start of training camp, but I am perhaps less confident that the Covid-19 virus won’t have something to say still regarding how they plan to approach things.
Anderson has also quoted sources that remains skeptical about there being an agreement reached unless the league does adopt a bubble approach, which some players seem to be in favor of. How many players will opt out of the season based on what the final guidelines are? That is a question that remains to be answered.