The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of the NFL.
With workouts shelved and meetings cancelled, the league and the NFL Players Association have been weighing all options for having some kind of a season safely — as well as camp.
But there have been some obstacles in negotiating the best way to go about it. And one of those obstacles have been the workouts Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has been holding with his new Tampa Bay teammates.
Speaking to USA Today a few days ago, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said the workouts are hurting the potential of a 2020 season.
Those practices are not in the best interest of player safety. They’re not in the best interest of protecting our players heading into training camp. And I don’t think they are in the best interest of us getting through an entire season.
All of the things that players may want to do during the off-season have a direct impact on how well we can negotiate protections for them once the season starts. When you look at the risk factors for COVID-19 — high (body mass index), sleep apnea, asthma, players that are prone to blood clots — that’s our membership.
Health warnings regarding the workouts from the NFLPA’s medical director have been sent out but they’ve been disregarded. Not just from Brady, other players from around the league have been holding workouts as well like Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
They’ve all been asked to stop.
Players are feeling the affects from all angles of this pandemic including negotiating contracts. On Friday, Bucs Nation reported that if the 2020 season is impacted especially in the form of a shutdown, teams are currently reluctant to write up a long-term deal for players currently in negotiation since there is uncertainty on a season.
One Bucs player is currently experiencing this very thing. Shaquil Barrett all but confirmed that to be the case for him.
As we now hit the month of July, talks between the league and the NFLPA will continue on how to approach the season. Players and their agents will continue to press their respective teams for a deal. With dates set to begin camp at the end of this month, it’ll be interesting to see how these situations develop.
We’re nearing the two-minute warning.