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Game on as the NFL and NFLPA finalize 2020 plan

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Photo by Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.

On Friday the NFL and the NFLPA agreed on the final hurdles holding up the proposed plan for the 2020 season to commence.

This means that camps will all open in full on July 28, there will be no preseason games this year, the 2020 salary cap will not be affected and will remain at $198.2 million, the 2021 cap cannot drop below $175 million and if revenues are better than expected that number could rise, and the players have the option to opt out of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic without a financial loss.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, the starting right guard for the Kansas City Chiefs, has decided to not play this season and to continue working as an orderly at a long-term care facility near his hometown of Montreal.

According to the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs on Bill Zimmerman’s recent Bears Banter Podcast, no Chicago Bears are expected to opt out.

The new deal also increases practice squads to 16 this year, with 6 spaces allowed for veterans of any experience level, and each week 4 of their practice squad players can be protected.

Offseason roster sizes were also decreased to 80 from 90, with a cut down date of August 16 set. Although teams can keep a full 90 if they agree to practice with split squads during camp.

And speaking of camp, here’s how they’ll get started this year...

The first wave of rookie COVID-19 testing came back with 12 positive tests. According to NFL.com, the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that “the NFL plans to isolate those individuals and prevent the spreading of the virus through robust testing, contact tracing and education.”

EDIT: Another change as reported by the NFL Network’s MIke Garafolo is that the usual Pro Bowl pay has been eliminated, which could likely lead to the game being cancelled, but if the game does take place the players will still receive some compensation.

Also on Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued the following statement;

​​The NFL clubs and the NFL Players Association approved an agreement that broadly resolves all outstanding issues relating to the opening of training camps and start of the 2020 season. Training camps will begin as scheduled.

We have worked collaboratively to develop a comprehensive set of protocols designed to minimize risk for fans, players, and club and league personnel. These plans have been guided by the medical directors of the NFL and the NFLPA and have been reviewed and endorsed by independent medical and public health experts, including the CDC, and many state and local public health officials. The season will undoubtedly present new and additional challenges, but we are committed to playing a safe and complete 2020 season, culminating with the Super Bowl.