UPDATE: 4:57 p.m. Arrowhead Time
The NFL and NFL Players Association have struck a deal, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Source: The NFLPA player reps approve the NFL’s proposal on their conference call. The deal is done. Let’s play football.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 24, 2020
NFLPA player reps have voted to accept the modified hard-fought CBA changes on the health and economic fronts that will allow training camps to open.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) July 24, 2020
Countdown to NFL regular Sept 10 season opener between @HoustonTexans and defending Super Chanpion @Chiefs now official begins*
No more talking. Football is happening.
Reports: Chiefs training camp will begin on time
(Originally posted: Friday, July 24, at 1:45 p.m. Arrowhead Time)
Out of the NFL meeting today, via sources: Training camp will start on time.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 24, 2020
This report was followed with some amplification from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter also stepped up with a report.
Per source: League meeting with coaches, gm, presidents, ownership concludes with clubs approving training camp, roster rules, matters addressing operations during Covid. Economics as well.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 24, 2020
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer contributed a training camp timeline.
More, via sources ...— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 24, 2020
• For KC and Houston, this means S&C starts 7/31.
• For the other 30 teams, S&C starts 8/3.
• Sept. 5th is the final cutdown day, in the proposal. https://t.co/NA8Dv84STw
Breer also had word of an important wrinkle.
As it was described on the NFL call, Days 16 and 17 would have rules similar to Phase II of the offseason program. Day 18, helmets can go on.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 24, 2020
Also, and this is important for coaches: I'm told you CAN have walkthroughs during the S&C period. https://t.co/NA8Dv84STw
And the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is on board with what the league has approved.
The deal reportedly includes spreading 2020 revenue losses over four seasons, keeping the 2020 cap at its current level of $198.2 million and setting the 2021 salary cap at no less than $175 million, according to Ben Fisher of Sports Business Daily.
Some significant movement in the NFL-NFLPA talks about how to share the pandemic pain: Owners now prepared to spread it out over 4 years with no hit to salary cap this year, with 2021 being no lower than $175M, source says.— Ben Fischer (@BenFischerSBJ) July 24, 2020
Breer gave us another piece of the puzzle.
Another piece of the NFL's proposal being presented to team officials today: An Aug. 16 cutdown to 80 players. So teams could keep 90 until then.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 24, 2020
Also, tho you can keep 90 until then, you can't have more than 80 in the building at once. Have to go split-squad if you're over 80.
As did Rapoport.
More details from what is on the table and being discussed: 2020 will be no play, no pay. All salaries and incentives will go away if games are stopped.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 24, 2020
Finally, the Washington Post’s Mark Maske reported that what the league will, in fact, increase practice squads to 16 players for 2020.
NFL owners ratified increased practice squads of 16 players per team, source says. Four players on the practice squad can be protected from other teams on a weekly basis.— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) July 24, 2020
So after a long period of speculation, rumors and trial balloons, the league and players union have agreed on a structure that will allow the league to get training camp underway on time — which will then make it possible for the Chiefs and Houston Texans to begin the season at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday, September 10.
That is... unless something else changes.