The NFL’s original schedule is now off schedule.
Teams already are pushing back reporting dates as the NFL and the NFLPA continue to negotiate how to handle the inevitable revenue losses from this season.
Most veteran players were scheduled to report to training camp next Tuesday, but Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that a failure to reach a deal by the end of the weekend could prompt virtual work to continue indefinitely.
The Chiefs and Texans, who will play the first game of the season, are scheduled to begin strength and conditioning work Sunday.
The current CBA contains a no strike/lockout/suit clause, and the NFL sets reporting dates.
“The league is management. They have the exclusive right, just like somebody who owns a plant, when does it open, when does it close, what our hours are,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said Friday on a Pro Football Writers of America call. “The CBA dictates wages, hours, working conditions, and generally and explicitly in this case we’ve made provisions about being in a position to approve the infectious disease response plans for the teams.
“Therefore, the role of the union is to hold them accountable on whether it is safe and to what extent it is safe to open training camp now.”
The union continues to push for the projected multibillion-dollar revenue shortfall spread over the length of the 11-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. The league has proposed taking the hit in 2020 and 2021, which could lead to a rash of veteran cuts.
“Even a $10 million reduction in the 2020 salary cap would be ‘too much’ at this stage,” a G.M. told Pelissero, who added that “rosters are largely set. Many teams would be scrambling to free up money somewhere.”