According to Adam Schefter of the ESPN, the 2020 preseason will be scrapped because the NFL has promised the NFLPA to play zero games this summer. This is a significant step because both the owners and the union are trying to detail what will be a very unique 2020 season as the League will continue to tackle the related problems of COVID-19.
The NFL usually offered a four-game preseason schedule earlier in the offseason, since the pandemic COVID-19 causes many changes. Players’ desire for no games has been clear.
The NFL announced a preseason game on Monday morning, but it sounds like the vote has changed.
NFLPA’s call for zero preseason games succeeds
It has been the intention of NFLPA from the beginning not to play any preseason games to encourage players to invest more time in the regular season training camp. Still, the League declined to delete it so far. Earlier, out of four teams had just sliced the preseason by two. On Monday before this most recent article, the NFL had only submitted a tentative plan for a preseason game to CBS Sports Jason La Canfora. Since the NFL has this plan, it is all time before the NFLPA agrees, and we’ll leave training camp for the regular 2020 season with zero preseason matches.
The NFLPA and the players felt very strongly at this topic of discussion, and it seems that the NFL listened and took note. It comes just a few hours after a daily testing agreement has been reached between NFL and NFLPA for the first two-week training camp, the final major issue of health and safety that had yet to be addressed. This was also another key issue among players who said so much publicly on social media during the weekend. It seems that the League has heard their voices and is set to launch the 2020 season with a training camp scheduled for days to come.
Amid news of NFL’s no preseason game deal on Monday evening, George Atallah, assistant manager of public affairs of NFLPA, replied by saying that the League did not “offer or give up preseason games for us. They had the right to set those (or not) under the CBA already.”
Impact of zero preseason games
Zero preseason games impair the prospects of undrafted free agents who compete on regular season teams. The inexperienced usually make a name for themselves and press for a spot in the roster. It would potentially make the starting roster a little more robust as these games go out in the 2020 season. Another way the League deals with this is to increase practice teams from 12 to 16 to broaden the list, along with the interactions of future COVID-19 cases. Nevertheless, it is not too beneficial for them to endanger their fitness in pointless games in a season in which other players are still hesitant to take part.
NFL & the Pandemic
While NFL appears to be the most affected professional sports league by COVID-19 due to the autumn and winter seasons, because of the existence of this touch sport, the League could also be unprepared to cope with the public health crisis in the United States. The three-time defensive player of the Year and Houston Texans star defensive end JJ Watt has suddenly pushed for improved health and safety protocols by players these past days.
Monday’s announcement of the NFLPA league and a rumored end to any preseason games in 2020 may be a reaction to many social media rants by players who want to seek more protection in the run-up to the regular season.
The coronavirus pandemic may also influence the income of the League as States have a separate strategy to encourage fans to take part in mass meetings vis-à – vis NFL stadiums. Then the COVID-19 will also strike the bank accounts of teams hard for players and personnel who track the effects of the infection closely without fans watching or with small numbers of fans.
For the NFL to turn to NFLPA on other issues, such as the preseason, it would be fascinating to see if there are just league compromises to reach their desired economic condition.