Source: NFLPA seeking opt-out clauses, stipends

  • ESPN staff writer
  • Previously a college football reporter for CBSSports.com
  • University of Florida graduate

The NFL and NFLPA continue to negotiate terms for a return to work, and players are requesting financial backing in case they decide to sit out the season.

Among the requests in the players’ recent proposal to the league, according to a source involved:

  • An opt-out clause for at-risk players to receive salary (but not bonuses) if one decides not to play.

  • An opt-out clause for players with at-risk families to earn an accrued season and benefits if they decide not to play.

  • An opt-out clause for players who leave the team after reporting (terms uncertain).

  • A $250,000 stipend guaranteed to all players if they show up to camp and everything is shut down due to COVID-19 concerns. That amount rises to $500,000 if the season starts, only to be shut down.

The definition of at-risk” is part of the discussion, and procedures for applying for medical opt-outs are not yet finalized.

The league’s June 7 memo listed the following as considerations for high-risk individuals:

  • African American, Hispanic or Pacific Islander

  • BMI ≥ 28

  • Sleep apnea

  • Hypertension

  • Altered immunity

  • Diabetes mellitus

  • Cardiac disease

Players also want, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, no salary in escrow for 2020 and no reduction in the 2021 salary cap despite projected revenue loss, which they’d prefer to spread over multiple years.

A source told Graziano there are no further conversations scheduled between the NFL and NFLPA on Wednesday, after the two sides talked each of the past two days.

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