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NFL, NFLPA agree to terms on CBA side letter in 2020

The NFL and NFLPA have done what many thought they couldn’t do...get a deal done heading into the 2020 regular season.

NFL: International Series-Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There are a lot of similarities between Major League Baseball and the NFL. Both organizations will be/are going to compete outside a bubble. The league and owners had some major differences of opinions heading into the season. Protocols were put in place to help keep staff and players as safe as possible.

With the similarities out of the way, now for the differences.

Unlike baseball, the NFL and NFLPA have been able to find middle ground on a multitude of topics from preseason games, acclimation periods, testing protocol and more leading up to the 2020 season. MLB was put in a holding pattern for the majority of the summer, but the NFL is ready to start on time after the league and union came to terms on a side letter for their current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and playing during a pandemic.

As Tom Pelissero of NFL Network states, the deal is done. Game on.

This is exciting for football fans, even the skeptics who don’t think a season is an actual possibility, but there is more to this letter than the two parties saying games will be played as scheduled.

No, there are a lot of details which need to be dissected and digested so fans know what to expect in the coming days/weeks.

Information on players who choose to opt-out, and the deadline for this decision to be made:

When drug tests, and how it will change under the current CBA, will begin:

NFL players can be disciplined for breaking league/club rules as what the league calls “High Risk COVID-19 conduct”. The fines can be heavy, and are meant to keep players in a bubble as much as possible during the season.

One sticking point for the NFLPA was a stipend for players if they opt-out, or if games are lost due to the coronavius pandemic.

With the massive amount of testing these players and coaches are undergoing daily, you have to wonder what would happen if a player is diagnosed right before a game? What options will the team have?

The list of players who have, or will, opt-out of the 2020 season is long, and if a player opts out they are helping their team as it pertains to salary cap space.

Expanded practice squads were already going to be a part of the NFL in 2020, but they are taking things a step further this season to help fill out rosters if one or more players test positive.

It hasn’t been pretty, but when you look at the negotiations of a league like MLB, it has been smooth sailing. The players had demands, and the owners caved on some big issues to make sure they have a product on television in 2020.

Game on.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare for the upcoming 2020 regular season.