Friday, July 24, 2020 / by Ken Couture
Raiders, other NFL teams to report on time after NFLPA deal
Raiders players will report to training camp on time Tuesday after an agreement on COVID-19 adjustments to the collective bargaining agreement was reached Friday between the league and the NFL Players Association.
“We have worked collaboratively to develop a comprehensive set of protocols designed to minimize risk for fans, players and club and league personnel,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “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.”
The union released a statement confirming that its executive committee voted unanimously to accept the agreement. Then player representatives from all 32 teams signed off on it in an afternoon conference call.
The Raiders did not respond to a request for comment.
By reaching this agreement, not only will training camps begin on time, but plans for the season to begin without delay also are in motion.
The Raiders are scheduled to open their season Sept. 13 at the Carolina Panthers. Their first game at Allegiant Stadium is scheduled for Sept. 21 against the New Orleans Saints.
To make up for the loss of all four preseason games, each club will gain eight practice days that otherwise would’ve been designated for walk-through practices and game days.
The agreement between the league and union establishes a minimum $175 million salary cap in 2021 — the 2020 salary cap is $198 million —meaning other potential reductions would instead take place the following three seasons. The cap is determined by revenue, which will be greatly reduced this season because games will be played in front of no or limited fans.
Raiders owner Mark Davis has said he would prefer to play in front of no fans if not all can attend games at Allegiant.
In the event the coronavirus crisis forces the NFL to cancel any games this season, players will not get paid for those games.
Team rosters, as expected, will be capped at 80 for camp rather than the usual 90. Practice squads will increase from 10 to 16 players.
Players will go through an acclimation period — eight days of strength and conditioning and walk-through practices, four days in helmets without pads. They also will practice up to 14 days in pads beginning Aug. 17.
All three Raiders quarterbacks — starter Derek Carr and backups Marcus Mariota and Nathan Peterman — reported to the new headquarters in Henderson on Thursday. They underwent COVID-19 testing, and they need two negative results in 72 hours before gaining access to facilities.
Other players will undergo the same screening process when they report. Rookies reported Tuesday.
Those who test positive for COVID-19 will not be allowed in the facilities until 10 days after that test or five days afterward with two negative results at least 24 hours apart. The head team doctor then must approve the player’s return.
Players who show symptoms are not allowed inside headquarters for at least 10 days and at least 72 hours since last exhibiting symptoms. The team doctor then has to OK the player’s return.
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