LA Rams News: How does NFL “opt out” plan affect team?

LA Rams News: NFL/NFLPA discussions for a player “opt-out” of 2020 NFL season will likely result in team roster adjustments

The LA Rams are trying to remain up-to-date with rapid changes to the NFL season. Those changes happen thanks to the presence and risks of COVID-19.  COVID-19 risks are very real, and that’s something both the NFL and NFLPA are acutely aware of.

We’ve discussed the possibility of NFL games played in empty stadiums, of expanded practice squad rosters to help manage team rosters should players test positive for the coronavirus, and even the discussions surrounding a special “quarantine quarterback” role for the practice squad to ensure NFL teams have sufficient numbers of trained quarterbacks to run the team should multiple QBs fall to a combination of injury and/or health issues this year.

Opting out status

But we have not yet mentioned the players opting out of the 2020 NFL season. Until now, that is. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero raised the issue in his report today.

Per Tom Pelissero during his NFL Network’s broadcast:

“My understanding is both the union and the league intend to have an opt-out for players who have either a pre-existing condition, family (members) with pre-existing conditions, just general concerns over COVID-19, would not want to play this season,” Pelissero said. “General managers were told on a call earlier this week there would be a specific date by which players would need to opt-out. That date is still to be determined.”

Not only are the mechanics of opting out up in the air. The NFL/NFLPA will need to agree upon how the opt-out status affects a player, the team, and the terms of the player contract.

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Opt-out RAMifications

What could that mean? Well, opting-out would most certainly be a hold-harmless status for an NFL team’s roster and salary cap calculation. But who will opt-out?  Certainly, as soon as one NFL star does so, many others will be tempted to follow suit.

And then there is the question of playing high-risk NFL games without stars or fans. Does it make sense?

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The NFL has time to sort out these complex matters. But these are complex indeed. Per Tom Pelissero, the league has committed to having all details determined prior to the start of training camp.

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