Training camps across the league will officially begin on time. News came Friday that both the league and the NFLPA have reached an agreement on modifications to the recently signed Collective Bargaining Agreement that now gives the green light for training camp to keep to its original schedule and begin on Tuesday, July 28.
Adjustments were needed due to the coronavirus pandemic that has left the players' union and league bereft with questions on how to safely proceed with the 2020 season. The league took necessary precautions in canceling this year's offseason program which in turn, affects players' readiness to begin a physical training regimen that is the norm for this time of year. All preseason games have been canceled prior to the start of the regular season. There were also league financials to be figured out with the projected loss in revenue due to fan restrictions inside stadiums this season.
Changes include the allowance of a 16-man practice squad, up from its previous number of 10. There are also high-risk and general opt-out of participation clauses with a yet-to-be-determined deadline, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero via NFL.com's Nick Shook.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, there will be a 20-day 'ramp-up' period followed by a maximum of 14 padded practices.
As far as financials go, the league plans to spread projected losses over a four-year span starting in 2021. The 2020 salary cap of $198.2 million will remain unchanged. The agreement also allows future cap numbers to be adjusted based on actual losses, according to NFL.com.
Every player will need to clear two negative COVID-19 tests within a span of 72 hours in between in order to officially enter the building. Buccaneers rookies and quarterbacks, including new addition Tom Brady, began that process Thursday. They'll be allowed into the facility on Monday, July 27. Veterans and all other players will report Tuesday, July 28 to begin their testing process.
Football is back.