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NFL, NFLPA reach agreement on training camp protocols

A little over a month since the NFLPA rejected an initial proposal by the league for potential training camp protocols, the two sides have come to an agreement.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the league and its union have reached an accord on “club facility protocol” for training camps.

Per Florio, who obtained a copy of the document, the proposal employs a “three-tier approach” to access to restricted areas, which the NFL’s prior proposal was also based upon. Teams must submit a list of the proposed designees under each of the three tiers a week before players arrive.

An initial memo from the NFL Commissioner’s office laid out the details of the system, which divides staff into different tiers of access and protocols. Per the memo, Tier 1 includes players, coaches, medical staff and the head equipment manager, Tier 2 includes non-playing personnel such as front office members, while Tier 3 includes persons “who perform essential facility, stadium or event services.”

Furthermore, the latest agreement allows teams to host up to two fan events during training camp practices, as long as those fans are limited in numbers and access and keep distance from players.

PFT notes that “strict physical distancing requirements appear throughout the document.” NFL players must remain at least six feet apart in the facility — whether it be in the locker room, weight room, showers, training room and the like. Whether that’s possible to execute in reality has yet to be seen.

The players had wanted all meetings to be virtual, and the new proposal requires them to be virtual “to the extent possible.” Any in-person meetings must be held outdoors. Physical distancing and masks are required for all meetings.

The document does not address virus testing, which will be covered in a separate agreement.