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Players Could be Tested for COVID-19 Every Three Days, Salary Cap Reduction Expected

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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.

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.

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.

NFL

Report: Bengals Trade Carlos Dunlap to Seahawks for B.J. Finney, Draft Pick

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The Cincinnati Bengals are reportedly shipping defensive end Carlos Dunlap to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman B.J. Finney and a seventh-round pick, according to multiple reports.

Dunlap has been used sparingly by Cincinnati this season, causing a rift between the player and the organization. Tempers boiled over during the Bengals’ 37-34 loss to the Cleveland Browns last Sunday, as Dunlap was seen arguing with a coach on the sideline toward the end of the game.

Cincinnati will happy to distances themselves from Dunlap and bolster their offensive line in return, which has allowed the most sacks in the league with 28.

Dunlap appears equally as eager to leave Cincinnati, posting the following video on his Instagram after news of the trade broke.

As for Seattle, they add some much-needed pass rush help to a defense that has just nine sacks on the season and is second-worst in the league against the pass. Finney had not played a single offensive snap for the Seahawks this season, but was utilized on special teams.

Selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Dunlap has spent his entire eleven-year career with Cincinnati and been selected to two Pro Bowls. He is the Bengals’ all-time leader in sacks (82.5) and tackles-for-loss (103).

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Steelers in 2015, Finney played four seasons in Pittsburgh as a plug-and-play offensive lineman before signing with Seattle this offseason. He started 13 games over his Steeler career.

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NFL, NFLPA Announce 19 New Positives From Last Testing Period

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The NFL and NFLPA have announced their latest COVID-19 results from their most recent testing period.

The league had 19 new positive cases between Oct. 18 to 24. There were eight new positive tests among players and eleven among staff members.

In total, 42,687 total tests were administered to 7,817 players and personnel over the seven-day period.

The NFL has had 55 positives from players and 82 among personnel dating back to Aug. 1. Over 500,000 total tests have been administered.

Tier 1 and 2 individuals continue to be tested daily, white Tier 3 personnel are being tested on a weekly basis.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have not had any coronavirus-related issues since running back Jaylen Samuels was removed from the Reserve/COVID-19 list back on Aug. 13.

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Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. Suffers Torn ACL

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The Cleveland Browns may have improved to 5-2 with their comeback win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, but they suffered a significant loss.

Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will miss the remainder of the 2020 season with a torn ACL, the organization announced Monday morning.

Beckham suffered the injury in the first quarter of Cleveland’s win over Cincinnati on Sunday, attempting to make a tackle on an interception thrown by quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The star wideout was off to a strong star in his second season with the Browns, catching 23 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns. He also had rushed for a score.

While the loss of Beckham is significant, the Browns appear to have enough offensive weapons to overcome the injury. Mayfield posted one of the best performances of his career on Sunday, completing 22 of 23 passes for 297 yards and five touchdowns after Beckham left the game.

Financially, Cleveland is still likely on the hook for Beckham’s $12.971 injury guarantee, which will convert to a full guarantee if he is rostered on the third day of the next league year, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. This means that Beckham is uncuttable, and a trade is very unlikely considering the injury.

Selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, Beckham has caught 487 passes for 6,830 and 51 touchdowns over his career. He has been selected to three Pro Bowls, but not since 2016.

The Steelers and Browns do not face off again until Week 17 in Cleveland.

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