NFL Notes: Salaries, Opt-Out Clause, Preseason



  • Tom Pelissero reports that the NFLPA informed its board of representatives that the NFL proposed to have 35 percent of player salaries to be held in escrow to help manage the potential revenue impact from the 2020 season. 
  • NFLPA executive Don Davis informed its players on a conference call that the union told the league “kick rocks” on the 35 percent escrow idea: “Basically, we told them to kick rocks.” (Pelissero)
  • Mark Maske adds that potential escrow funds would be paid through either 2020 or 2021 seasons once this year’s revenue drop is officially calculated. 
  • Mike Garafolo reports that the chances are “less than zero percent” the players will accept that. The union is firmly dug in.
  • According to Garafolo, the players believe the league has no legal position to hold this year’s money in escrow and the NFLPA is adamant about borrowing for future years to offset a potential salary cap drop in 2021.

Opt-Out Clause

NFLPA Vice President Sam Acho said that the league opposes opt-out conditions for players “of any kind,” should they decide against playing in the 2020 season. 

The league is very hesitant to have any player opt out,” Acho said, via ProFootballTalk.  “Their position is if the player doesn’t want to go to training camp, well that’s their decision. Obviously, fines could take player and you could lose your starting spot, all those things could take place.”

Acho said the NFL’s players would like to have the choice to play in 2020 given other professional sports leagues are allowing that. 

The NFL as a league is trying to keep that from happening,” Acho said.


  • According to Tom Pelissero, the joint medical committee set up by the NFL and NFLPA recommended a “48-day training camp, longer acclimation period, and a shortened preseason.”
  • Pelissero mentions that the NFL asked the players’ union “weeks ago” if they could report to camp early in order to play preseason games, but the NFLPA refused and cited their Collective Bargaining Agreement’s late-July start. 
  • Pelissero reports that the NFL still intends on holding two preseason games with a “much short acclimation period.” However, the NFLPA is pushing for no preseason games in order to have a full 48-day training camp. 
  • As for testing in regards to the global pandemic, Pelissero reports that the NFLPA wants daily C19 screenings but the league does not feel that level of frequency is needed. 
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