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Tens of millions in NFL bonuses in question due to COVID-19 work stoppage

Vincent Frank
Jimmy Garoppolo Super Bowl LIV
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has been the least impacted of the four major North American professional sports leagues during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2020 NFL Draft is slated to go on as planned later this month. Free agency and the start of the new league year is also ongoing.

Despite this, there’s been some adjustments the league and its teams have had to make. That includes the closing of facilities for off-season workouts. It will also include the suspension of off-season programs slated to start later in April.

It’s in this that dozens of NFL players are facing the loss of big-time off-season workout bonuses. According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Media, the total amounts to a cool $36 million. It includes big-time stars missing out on major pay days.

  • Za’Darius Smith, Green Bay Packers: $750,000
  • Preston Smith, Green Bay Packers: $650,000
  • Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers: $600,000
  • Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings: $500,000

While this won’t necessarily hurt those on the top-end of the NFL salary scale, youngsters and those holding on to roster spots will be impacted.

The current collective bargaining agreement calls for a stipend of $235 daily during off-season workouts. With those set to be canceled, another $20 million is now up in the air.

The NFL and NFLPA have recently discussed both the mental and physical health of players while they are away from team facilities. It’s no small thing. We’re entering a point in the offseason when players are usually working out within a structured environment. Teams have sent off-season playbooks to players in recent years. That’s not the case in 2020.

Sure there’s a financial aspect to all of this. However, the mental and physical well-being of players must be of paramount concern during these most difficult of times.