There will be an NFL season this fall.
On Friday, The NFL and NFLPA reached an agreement on adjustments to the CBA, which means the 2020 season is officially a go, and training camps will open for all 32 teams next week.
This was the expectation all along, but the ongoing coronavirus outbreak has forced the league to make significant adjustments to how the season will be conducted.
One of the biggest issues was how the league would help offset the loss of revenue expected from not having stadiums at full capacity this fall. Many teams have already decided to limit fan capacity well below 50% for the upcoming season. The league wanted to lower the salary cap for the next two years to help soften that financial loss, but the NFLPA wouldn’t bite.
According to NFL.com, here are some of the biggest talking points that both sides agreed to:
The agreed-upon deal includes an allowance for 16-man practice squads, high-risk and general opt-outs of participation due to the pandemic (deadline date to be determined), and the absence of a preseason for 2020, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported earlier Friday.
According (Ian) Rapoport, training camp is set to be comprised of 20 days of a ramp-up period and a maximum of 14 padded practices.
Financially, the league will spread the impact of any 2020 revenue shortfall due to the pandemic over four years beginning in 2021. The salary cap will be at least $175 million in 2021, while the 2020 cap of $198.2 million remains unchanged. The two sides were able to reach an agreement after owners raised the minimum cap for 2021 from $165 million to $175 million and dropped their request for an $8 million reduction in cap for 2020, per Pelissero.
In the event that financial losses are not as great as anticipated, the cap will be higher in 2021 than $175 million. Setting a floor simply provides clubs with a baseline with which they can plan financially.