(L-R) Security Erik Harris, full-back Alec Ingold and linebacker Kyle Wilber of the Las Vegas Raiders train on June 17, 2020 in a park in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller | Getty Images
The National Football League's tug-of-war with the players' union is being publicly shown as both parties attempt to address the uncertainties associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
The sites have agreed on daily tests and the NFL has offered to cancel the 2020 pre-season, but the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) is working to improve security in the negotiations.
According to people who are aware of the discussions, the NFLPA wants more clarity about club disease plans, guaranteed payment for players if the training camp and regular season games are discontinued, and agreement on future salary problems due to Covid -19 are expected.
People spoke to CNBC on condition of anonymity as they are not authorized to publicly discuss negotiations.
Officials representing club owners have battled the NFLPA in daily test questions because of the cost, but eventually agreed on terms, as did the NFL in canceling exhibition games.
With government officials in NFL cities already referring to games without fans, the league is preparing for sales of up to $ 70 million per team.
According to a report by the league-run NFL.com, the cap forecast has been lowered to $ 40 million per team, but official earnings will only be summed up after the coming season. However, if this were true, the clubs would have spent less than $ 198 million on players in 2021 than this year.
The union demands that every cap hit be eliminated throughout the term of the new 10-year collective agreement, while club owners want the hit to be taken into account immediately.
Another issue that is holding up negotiations is the amount of compensation for players who choose to suspend the season. According to sources, clubs would have to offer players a contract-based payment option to avoid potential litigation that could arise if the NFL forces their players to return.
The NFLPA is also targeting $ 500,000 per player if the league starts its regular season and then has to cancel because of Covid-19 matches, the people familiar with the talks said.
On Wednesday earlier, CNBC reported that the players union had applied for full salary payment regardless of the number of games played.
NFLPA official George Atallah denied the allegations and said no such application had been made. "The story is not only wrong, it also has malicious intentions," he said.
The NFL declined to comment.
Further negotiations are ongoing
Although teams have started submitting their required Infectious Disease Emergency Response (IDER) plans, some have been returned to the clubs for clarity, according to those who spoke to CNBC.
For all 32 clubs to start full training camps by July 28, the NFLPA must obtain and approve all IDER plans. If not approved, teams can only host up to 20 players in camps.
Some NFL clubs have already opened camps for rookie players that are currently being tested on Covid-19. Without an agreement, the players must continue to participate in the training camp, but again in limited numbers.
Although there are still problems, people expect an agreement because the NFL wants to avoid possible grievances from players.
Oakley designed an NFL helmet with a face shield to protect players from the spread of germs.
On Thursday, the NFL announced fans participating in games in states where a mask is required. The league begins its regular season on September 10th.
The NFL continues to negotiate when players need to improve their physical exercises in pads. The NFLPA's concern is the potential for increased injuries, similar to the abundance of injuries in 2011 after a short lockout.
The face shields designed by Oakley are also losing momentum, which the NFL had wanted. According to people, the shields were tested by some NFL players in the laboratory, but not tested on the field as far as the NFLPA is concerned. The shields are designed to replicate normal face masks and protect players in the mouth and nose area to reduce the risk of contamination during the game.
The NFL says Oakley, which pays the league approximately $ 75 million in partnership rights annually, has enough shields to distribute to all 32 teams before the 2020 season begins.