NFL pushes for shorter opt-out window

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The NFL and NFL Players Agreement have agreed that players will have seven days from the signing of the official revision to the Collective Bargaining Agreement to decide whether to opt out of the 2020 season. Since the deal has not yet been finalized, that would put the deadline at Saturday, August 8 — at the earliest.

The league, apparently rattled by the fact that nearly 40 players already have said “no thanks” to pro football in a pandemic, now wants a shorter deadline than the one previously negotiated.

Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that the NFL “is pushing to move up the deadline from one week after the new CBA side-letter is signed, and it now is expected even sooner.” Schefter’s tweet on the subject suggests that the NFLPA is fine with this, claiming that the opt-out deadline is “now expected to be moved up to either Tuesday or Wednesday.”

The NFLPA shouldn’t be fine with it. The NFL’s opt-out system already is too inflexible and unrealistic, forcing players to make binding decisions without complete information. It’s one thing to show up at camp and witness the efforts to limit the spread of the virus there. It’s another to participate in 11-on-11 padded practices, which won’t happen until the middle of August. And it’s another to play in a game against an opponent, which won’t happen until Week One of the regular season.

What if padded practices result in a spike in positive tests? What if games do? Players should have the ability to make a decision with more, not less, information, based on how things unfold in the coming weeks.

Players also should be permitted to return. If they decide based on the NFL’s handling of the pandemic and/or a potentially dramatic shift in the national attitude toward doing the things necessary to contain the virus the situation is safer than expected, why not let them come back and play?

But those are separate issues. For now, the point is that the league and the union have agreed to place a short fuse on the opt-out decision. The last thing the union should agree to do at this point is to shorten the agreed deadline even more.

27 responses to “NFL pushes for shorter opt-out window

  1. Why do you agree with it?
    I’m tired of the man up macho do it or don’t way of thinking.

    There is something to be said about educating oneself and then making a decision based upon actual real life experience.

  2. Or they can just retire and unretire as they see fit. The league always finds a way to trip over their own feet.

  3. rodgerstonelson says:
    August 1, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    I actually agree with the NFl on this. Stay or go, man up and make a man deceision.

    a man decision usually requires knowing information and analyzing it then basing your choice off of it.

  4. Aren’t these the same players who go out to the strip clubs when they’re on the road. Now they’re saying its because if family issues?

  5. These players have all of the information necessary to make an informed decision on whether to play or not. Just make a decision.

  6. They should be talking about discounted tickets for fans for the “quality” of product they’ll be putting on the field (if there’s a season at all). Season ticketholders who can opt out for the 2020 season should do so.

  7. evrybdyhas1 says:
    August 1, 2020 at 7:08 pm
    What if a player fakes a hammy or back injury and opts out with pay?
    _______
    Pretty sure teams have doctors to diagnose things like that.

  8. I agree with the NFL too. Not being a man up type of thing, but you also can’t have these teams going deep into camp and then at the last minute have 10 guys opt out and still get some sort of payment. There is more than enough information out there for these guys to make a decision on what is best for them and their families. You see what it is doing to baseball, so use that and decide if it’s worth it. If it isn’t, opt out now, if it is to you, then show up. Simple as that.

  9. Isnt playing safer since you are surrounded by people who are getting tested daily vs even going to the grocery store you are buy people that have not ever been tested

  10. crush22 says:
    August 1, 2020 at 7:38 pm
    evrybdyhas1 says:
    August 1, 2020 at 7:08 pm
    What if a player fakes a hammy or back injury and opts out with pay?
    _______
    Pretty sure teams have doctors to diagnose things like that.
    ————————————-
    Team doctors, who are paid by the team, have an amazing capacity for making medical decisions that coincide with the desires of their employer. If they don’t, they soon become former team doctors.

    If they want to use a truly independent doctor to make decisions about injuries, we should all be good with that.

  11. The problem is the players can get fined if they don’t show up but there is no finalized agreement. How do you know what to do without the agreement.
    But if you don’t want the COvid risk, you still have to show up until the deal is done.
    So you take a serious risk coming to camp, knowing you are going to opt out anyway.

  12. So again I ask. Since the opt-out agreement has no been signed yet. Can players change their mind if they already said they wanted to opt out? If the NFL can change their mind what about the players?

  13. The owners are just freaking out because so many are opting out and the way things are going it will probably be worse as time goes on. Those players being cut right now will most likely be called in before the season is over. This is going to be one crazy year for sure.

  14. I think players should have a chance to see how their organizations are addressing the covid protocol, and the opt out window was designed to give them a chance to do so. It’s not a decision made in a vacuum in their disinfected home bubble – it’s made after observing team operations. That ain’t a macho in or out decision, it’s one made based on observed facts.

  15. Eventually a big name QB will opt out. When that happens some teams won’t be as competitive as expected. And that’s when you put an “*” on the season.
    And I don’t want to see something like 4 completed games count as a full credit towards a season.

  16. mazblast says:
    August 1, 2020 at 8:27 pm
    crush22 says:
    August 1, 2020 at 7:38 pm
    evrybdyhas1 says:
    August 1, 2020 at 7:08 pm
    What if a player fakes a hammy or back injury and opts out with pay?
    _______
    Pretty sure teams have doctors to diagnose things like that.
    ————————————-
    Team doctors, who are paid by the team, have an amazing capacity for making medical decisions that coincide with the desires of their employer. If they don’t, they soon become former team doctors.

    If they want to use a truly independent doctor to make decisions about injuries, we should all be good with that.
    ——-
    Injury disputes go before an arbitrator agreed upon by the NFL and NFLPA. The team can present their case with their doctors and the player can present their case with their own doctors.

  17. Robert Zak says:
    August 1, 2020 at 10:59 pm
    Eventually a big name QB will opt out. When that happens some teams won’t be as competitive as expected. And that’s when you put an “*” on the season.
    And I don’t want to see something like 4 completed games count as a full credit towards a season.

    —————————————

    Big name QBs get injured almost every season, which, as far as the competitiveness of the league is concerned, has the same effect that those QBs opting out would. Does the 2008 season have an asterisk next to it because Tom Brady was injured? Is the Steelers’ SB victory tarnished? I don’t think so, but if you’d like to bust out the asterisk, by all means

    I believe the Pats went 11-5 that season, by the way. I know they have an incredible coach, but the point is, losing a star QB doesn’t have to be a death sentence

  18. Well I dont know how your able to be a proponent of allowing players to opt out and then come back when a big issue brought up was it could be used as a ploy for a holdout for more money. By not allowing them to play it should be strictly safety based, if they decide later they want to play well that’s too bad, there’s always next season. It’s just like any decision you make as an adult you live with the consequences.

  19. Actually teams and players circumvent the rules all the time regarding injuries. Teams stash players on IR and players use self diagnosed injuries to not play or practice for leverage. The risks for the team trying to force a player to play far out-weigh the benefits in the real world.

  20. This is an obvious — or not– ploy by the Owners and GM’s to keep as many players as possible available to play. The NFL Owners have too much to lose ($$).

  21. I think forcing a decision on opting out, and not making it reversible, makes a lot of sense.

    If I have player at a position who opts out, and I hire someone to take his place, what happens when he opts back in? Now I have to pay both? These contacts are in the millions of dollars and teams are subject to the salary cap and team size limitations. Perhaps a negotiated opt back in where the team and player have to mutually agree to a salary for the year.

    Also, lets say I let players opt out whenever they want… If I build a team, and the night before the first game one of my starting offensive linemen (or multiple) opts out, what do I do? Hire new players? Sure, but how long before things gel. Restricting players ability to drop out after a certain date brings some stability to the team members.

  22. This type of stuff is why I have watched less football over the years. I can’t stand the NFL as an entity, time and time again it shows that player safety was really a farce to prevent future lawsuits and that it only sees players as a commodity.

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