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Volume 26 No. 228
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NFLPA Memo Details Plans For Virus-Altered '20 Season

The NFLPA last night sent a memo to NFL players and agents detailing the agreement to play a '20 season, including $17M in player benefits canceled to soften an expected revenue shortfall due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The memo also details stipends for players who opt out of the season, as well as stipends for players in the event the season is canceled or suspended. Additionally, it provides details on what will happen to NFL players who might test positive for COVID-19 during the season. "The original 2020 Salary Cap obviously did not anticipate the COVID pandemic, and actual revenues will reflect a substantial shortfall," the memo said, in explaining why $17M in benefits will be canceled. Those canceled benefits include the second career savings plan, annuity, severance pay, performance-based pay, tuition assistance, playoff bye week pay and Pro Bowl pay, unless a Pro Bowl is played. "No 2020 player salaries or bonuses will be reduced if there is a complete NFL season," the memo states.

Chiefs' Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has already opted out of the season; players will have a week to decide
Photo: Getty Images
Chiefs' Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has already opted out of the season; players will have a week to decide
Photo: Getty Images
Chiefs' Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has already opted out of the season; players will have a week to decide
Photo: Getty Images

PLAYER OPT OUTS: Any player who wants to opt out of the season can, but must provide notice within a week of the agreement being finalized, the memo stated. Drafted and veteran players who opt out are eligible for a $150,000 stipend to be treated as a salary advance. Players who have or had specified pre-existing medical conditions must notify his NFL club "in writing that he qualifies for Higher Risk" for COVID-19 and also must do so within seven days. High risk players are eligible for a "stipend of $350,000, which is not offset by prior salary and will not constitute a salary advance but will count against Total Player Cost," the memo stated. The agreement also provides for stipends of between $50,000 to $300,000, depending on the player's status, in the event the season is canceled or suspended.

OTHER DETAILS: The memo also spells out what may happen to guaranteed player compensation in the event of a canceled season. "If any games are canceled during the 2020 season once the regular season has begun, Clubs will not be obligated to pay the salary protected by applicable 2020 Guaranteed Salary during the 2020 season that would have covered salary for any cancelled games," the memo states. But this does not apply to certain types of guaranteed money, including "any salary guarantee, signing bonus, roster bonus, or reporting bonus due but not paid." Guaranteed salary for games that are not played may be rolled over to the next season. Players who are diagnosed with COVID-19 "will have such condition treated as a football related injury for all purposes." Clubs may not comment on the players' medical status other than to refer to his roster status as "COVID IR," the memo states.