NFL players who shrink the coronavirus through “high-risk” activity away from team equipment may face team discipline and even run the risk of not being paid, according to the league’s new protocol.
A report sent by the NFLPA to agents this weekend, a copy of which was received from ESPN, outlines several rules governing player contracts, as well as provisions for withdrawal and the contractual consequences of a canceled season.
The note said that the final language of Friday’s agreement between the league and the players would appear in a letter, which is still being negotiated, and that the information disseminated this weekend was a “summary of the main aspects of the COVID amendments”
Weeks ago, during a conference call with NFLPA management, players were told that they could face discipline, including fines, for behavior detrimental to the team if they were found to have contracted COVID-19 through reckless activity. away from the facility. This weekend’s note supports this and says such activity could allow the team to challenge the status of the COVID-19 diagnosis as a football injury.
If such a challenge was successful, the team could probably put the player on the list of non-football injuries, a move that would allow the team not to pay him.
To be clear about the procedure, players are required to test negatives twice before being allowed to enter the team facility at the beginning of training camp. Any player diagnosed with COVID-19 after two negative entry tests will be diagnosed with NFL / NLFPA football status, and the team will be able to place that player in a specific injury reserve for COVID-19. a list from which he will be allowed to return once he meets certain criteria.
But the note also states: “Clubs / NFLs may challenge the designation as a football injury if they can prove that the player entered into COVID-19 by engaging in high-risk behavior below. (This question remains open.)”
According to the note, the NFL defines high-risk behavior as present:
• Indoor nightclub with more than 15 people
• Indoor bar with more than 15 people, in addition to lifting food
• home party indoors with more than 15 people
• indoor music concert / entertainment event with more than 15 people
• a professional sporting event other than the applicable NFL games or events with more than 15 people
• an internal religious service, attended by more than 25 percent of the site’s capacity
“Players will have to be careful outside the building,” Rams said Andrew Whitworth during a conference call last week after revealing that he and his entire family got the virus after one of them went to lunch with a friend. “All it takes is one exposure and it can spread like wildfire.”
Other items addressed in the NFLPA note this weekend:
• There will be no reduction in player salaries or bonuses in 2020 if there is a full NFL season.
• $ 17 million in 2020 benefits for players have been abolished, including a second plan for savings careers, training aid and pay-to-play payments by the week, including others. These benefits will be paid to players through a new benefit after 2023. Most of the benefits canceled are those that would be new this year, signed in March, and will start in 2021 instead.
• If at least one week of NFL matches is played, players who have been on the Team 1 team or coaching a team will not be charged for their contracts and will receive one season fully credited for retirement and benefits and charged season to a free agency.
• A player who decides to cancel the 2020 season must inform his team in writing within seven days of finalizing the side letter. His contract will pay, which means he will enter where he is now next year. And as long as he wins a credit season in 2019 or is drawn in 2020, he will receive a scholarship of $ 150,000, which will be treated as a salary advance and will go beyond the salary of future years.
• A player who chooses to retire because he is in a riskier medical category will receive a $ 350,000 scholarship, which is not an advance on a future salary. He will also receive a season accrued to a free agency and a credited season to player benefits and the minimum wage.
The note lists 15 eligible conditions as long as the player has been diagnosed with one of them in his or her medical records prior to the NFL / NFLPA. The high-risk categories are: cancer; chronic kidney disease; COPD; weakened immune system from solid organ transplantation; severe heart condition such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies; sickle cell disease; type 2 diabetes; asthma; cerebrovascular disease; cystic fibrosis; hypertension or high blood pressure; weakened immune system from blood or bone marrow transplantation, immune deficiency, HIV, use of corticosteroids or use of other drugs that weaken the immune system; neurological conditions such as dementia; liver disease; and pulmonary fibrosis.
• The team must offer a separate home to a player who lives with it at high risk if the player so requests.
• If the season is canceled before the final reduction of the training camp list, each player who is on the training camp list and wins a season credited in 2019 or drawn in 2020 will receive a $ 250,000 scholarship and NFL player health insurance. A player who does not win a season credited in 2019 or is not canceled in 2020 will receive a scholarship of $ 50,000. If the season is canceled before the final reduction of the list, all contracts will be awarded.
• If the season is canceled after the final redundancy, a player on the roster will receive $ 300,000 in compensation, reimbursed for any salary earned during the season, plus health insurance. The team’s players will receive $ 100,000 in scholarships (offset by the salary already received) and health insurance.