The NFL and NFL Players Association have ironed out the final details for the 2020 season, and players will start reporting to training camp Tuesday.
"We have worked collaboratively to develop a comprehensive set of protocols designed to minimize risk for fans, players, and club and league personnel," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement Friday. "These plans have been guided by the medical directors of the NFL and the NFLPA and have been reviewed and endorsed by independent medical and public health experts, including the CDC, and many state and local public health officials. The season will undoubtedly present new and additional challenges, but we are committed to playing a safe and complete 2020 season, culminating with the Super Bowl."
The league had already established testing and safety protocols earlier in the week, but on Friday, it was still working out how to account for any potential revenue shortfalls in a coronavirus-era season. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero previously reported that under this deal, players would not see any reduction in salary during the upcoming season, and any revenue shortfalls would be spread out over four years starting in 2021.
The NFLPA Board of Representatives voted 29-3 to adopt the amendments to the collective bargaining agreement. The NFLPA did not respond to a request for comment Friday.
Pelissero reports that this deal will be no-play, no-pay, meaning that if the games don't happen, then salaries and incentives won't be paid. Players also have the opportunity to opt out of the season entirely. "High risk" players, such as those with preexisting conditions that make them especially vulnerable to COVID-19, will be able to opt out for a $350,000 stipend and an accrued season. "Voluntary" players will have the opportunity to opt out for a $150,000 salary advance, but no accrued season.
The NFL had already outlined safety guidelines and testing protocols this week. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport posted a memo on Twitter that was sent to all 32 NFL teams and explains how players must have two negative tests at least three days apart in order to enter team facilities. All players will then undergo daily testing, and if the positivity rate is under 5 percent after two weeks, then they will move to every-other- day testing.
The NFL is still ironing out other smaller details. An NFL spokesperson said fans across the league will be required to wear masks in stadiums, though some teams, like the New York Jets and New York Giants, have already announced that they will play without fans until further notice.
Barring any setbacks, the NFL is planning on playing a full season, with the first game on Sept. 10 featuring the Kansas City Chiefs against the Houston Texans.