Following a 2020 NFL season where the offseason was held entirely in a virtual world, the NFL meets this week to lay out this upcoming offseason. The NFL has stated that they are determined to not do things virtual and to get back to as close to business as usual for the 2021 NFL season. Towards this effort, the NFL has announced an in-person 2020 NFL draft in Cleveland to take place late next month. In-person, in NFL speak means that there will be fans and media in attendance while still having some draft prospects join the broadcast virtually from their own homes. Part of the reason for the virtual visits with the draft picks is that the part of the 2021 draft where we saw all the prospects from their own homes, usually with family and friends in attendance, was reportedly very popular among the fans and the NFL is attempting to respond to that while still giving the look of “things are back to normal”.
On the docket for this week's meetings is not only the offseason schedule but the expansion to a 17 game season, likely resulting in a reduction of pre-season games. The NFL has signaled that they want the NFLPA to have input and the union has stated that any changes would require a reworking of parts of the current collective bargaining agreement. The NFL seems hell-bent on exercising their option to expand the season to 17 games for 2021. My question is how does this affect the salary cap? I would expect the union and the players to want the extra pay for the extra game played even if they are going to reduce pre-season games. This would seem particularly sticky during a season that for the first time since the salary cap was implemented saw the amount of the salary cap reduced, due to lost revenues during the 2020 season, due to Covid restrictions.
As to the offseason workouts and practices that occur before training camp begins the union has signaled that they don’t believe that they are necessary any longer. They claim that the successful 2021 season proves that they are not needed at all. On the other side is the teams that still want them and believe that they are needed. For one thing, young teams with say a new quarterback, as our Miami Dolphins had in 2020, believe that their teams suffered from the loss of off-season work. Some teams have also cited the lack of offseason work as the reason that we saw so many players go down last season with an injury. Others blame the lack of preseason games. Either way, I would suspect that both offseason work and preseason games still survive while also being reduced to appease the union in light of the additional game that they are hell-bent on adding.
So tonight’s Phinsider Question Of The Day is what would you like to see the NFL and the union agree upon as far as the upcoming offseason workout/practice schedule, the pre-season, and even the addition of one more game?
Give us your thoughts below-
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