Full team training camp begins next week, and there are less than two months to go until the season begins, here are some news and notes from around the league.
Chiefs Guard Not Going To Play
Kansas City Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is the first NFL player to publicly opt out of the upcoming season. The Chiefs starter announced his intentions via his social media page.
The guard has a good excuse not to be playing, as the medical school graduate has been assisting in a long-term health care facility since the coronavirus pandemic began. The McGill Univesity graduate is currently an orderly in Montreal. He is the only doctor currently on a roster in the NFL.
In his post, he said that the decision to sit out this season was one of the hardest decisions he has ever had to make, but working on the front lines of the coronavirus battle has given him a different perspective on the pandemic.
The league and NFLPA agreed on Friday that players considered to be high risk to COVID-19 could earn $350,000 for the year and accrue an NFL season if they chose to sit out the 2020 season. Those players who decide to opt out but are not deemed high risk will earn $150,000.
The 29-year-old 2014 draft pick was scheduled to earn $2.75 million this season, so his decision to stay in Canada and assist with the fight against the virus while taking a major financial hit should be commended amongst his fellow colleagues and NFL fans.
League, Players Approve Plan
On Friday, the National Football League Players Association board of representatives, along with league officials, approved a plan that will allow for NFL training camp to begin next week on schedule.
Owners, team presidents, general managers, and coaches were all apart of the league meeting that agreed on roster changes and protocols during the current pandemic. The player’s board voted 29-3 to adopt the proposal to the collective bargaining agreement.
Among some of the important agreements made during the meeting approved by NFL teams and its players:
- The 80-man roster deadline is Aug. 16. However, teams can utilize a 90-man roster if they decide to go with a split-squad setup. Some teams have tossed the idea of using two practice facilities during camp.
- Loss of revenue will be dispersed over a four-year span through 2024. Additionally, there will be a fund to pay back any benefits possibly eliminated as a result of the virus through 2023, which includes the payback of any lost money guaranteed to players.
- Players who make a team will get $300,000 if there are no games played, and the season canceled. If the season gets canceled before the cutdown date, players who were on a roster in 2019 will get $250,000.
League players will have one week once the agreement is officially signed to decide whether or not they plan to play in 2020.