NFL players must decide on sitting out 2020 season before training camp?

By Matt Johnson
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The countdown is on for NFL training camp with teams just weeks away from reporting to facilities. However, with the clock winding down and the COVID-19 pandemic worsening, NFL players might soon face a difficult choice with little time to make a monumental decision.

NFL wants players to decide on sitting out 2020 season before training camp

The NFL Players Association held a two-hour conference call on Thursday, detailed by ESPN’s Dan Graziano. While only player reps took part part, with a larger call coming Friday, many were expressing concern about playing football amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the conference call, players sought answers about their contracts if they choose to opt-out of the 2020 season with some questioning if they can leave during the season.

According to ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio, the NFL will be seeking a decision from each player about their availability for the entire 2020 season before training camp. While each person will have the right to opt-out, sacrificing their 2020 salary, the league wants a decision before July 28 and players might not be allowed to change their mind once they reach a decision.

The NFLPA is already raising concerns about the chances of the 2020 season starting on time and even finishing. Meanwhile, multiple NFL stars have expressed a hesitancy to play unless the NFL creates a firm plan for health and safety.

It’s widely expected that multiple NFL players will sit out the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve already seen it in MLB and the NBA, with the number of players opting out expected to grow. The big question will be whether or not football is actually played this fall.