As CBA negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA continue to make little progress, the NFLPA has issued a “work stoppage guide” to its players to help them prepare in case of a strike or lockout following the 2020 season.
Sources on both sides of the negotiations continue to insist a work stoppage is unlikely. But the NFLPA has said all along that its mission is to “negotiate for the best while preparing for the worst.” So while the current CBA doesn’t expire until March 2021, the players’ union is trying to make sure its members are prepared in case negotiations go sideways.
Much of the “work stoppage guide”, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN, is focused on helping players manage their money in advance of — or in case of — a strike or lockout. The specific suggestions include:
Other parts of the guide address specifics of what the rules might be during a work stoppage, in terms of access to team facilities (none), whether the league would conduct a draft (they did in 2011 while players were locked out) and whether players would still be subject to drug testing during a work stoppage (they don’t know).
Players and owners have conducted a handful of negotiating sessions this summer, and commissioner Roger Goodell has said publicly that the league would like a new CBA in place before the start of the 2019 season. But sources say little progress has been made in talks so far, as the main issue remains the revenue split between players and owners. Currently, the players’ share of all league revenue may not fall below 47 percent in a given year, and the players want that figure to go up.
More negotiating sessions between players and owners are tentatively scheduled for next week, sources say, though the key word there is “tentatively.” Talks between staff members for each side have been ongoing, and the two sides are likely to decide in the coming days whether there’s likely to be enough progress to warrant more formal negotiating sessions next week.