On a conference call with agents Monday, the NFLPA highlighted safety and financial ramifications stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The call included NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, president J.C. Tretter and medical director Thom Mayer.
According to multiple reports, the union revealed today that players could be tested every three days once they are able to fully return to team facilities. The players who inevitably test positive would be isolated.
“You can’t fit the virus into football, you have to fit football into the virus. This is a badass virus,” Mayer said.
During the NFLPA's call with agents today, NFLPA medical director Thom Mayer said that players, upon return, should expect to be tested every 3 days.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) June 15, 2020
Mayer to the agents: "You can't fit the virus into football, you have to fit football into the virus. This is a badass virus."
The NFLPA’s expectation contradicts protocols laid out by the league in a memo to clubs last week, which said that COVID-19 tests would be conducted daily upon entering the facility.
Mayer also said that there is a 90% chance that reliable saliva tests will be readily available by the time players eventually return to team facilities.
With regards to the salary cap implications of the pandemic, the union informed agents that the league could lose $3 billion in revenue if games are played without fans in 2020.
NFLPA told agents that playing w/o fans in attendance would result in ~$3 billion in revenue losses. DeMaurice Smith reminded them of the force majeure clause in the CBA, and that thru it the players have the right to negotiate cap implications.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) June 15, 2020
i.e. spreading losses over years.
Luckily for the owners and players, the CBA contains a good faith clause that will allow the two sides to enter negotiations with regards to revenue and the salary cap.
One way that the league could tackle any salary cap reductions would be by borrowing from future years where revenue is expected to be stable and growing. Factors such as the 17-game season, new television deals and gambling ventures are reasons for optimism that the cap will grow significantly over the coming years.
In addition, executive director Smith expressed that the union will finalize their own set of protocols over the next thirty days, prior to players making their eventual return.
With minicamps cancelled through the end of June, it appears the league and NFLPA are planning to be full-go in time for the start of training camps at the end of July.