The NFL and NFL Players Association announced in a joint statement Thursday that league and team policies regarding conduct during the playing of the national anthem will not be issued or enforced for several weeks as part of a standstill agreement between the two sides.
A source informed of the situation told NFL Network's Tom Pelissero that everything connected to league and club policies on the anthem will remain on hold as discussions between the NFL and the union play out.
The development comes after a Miami Dolphins source told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport that the NFL was requiring every team to submit conduct rules for the national anthem before players reported to training camp. The Dolphins had already submitted their plan to the league since their rookies reported to the training camp Wednesday, Rapoport reported.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that "Dolphins players who protest on the field during the national anthem could be suspended for up to four games under a team policy issued this week." The AP added that the Dolphins' anthem conduct policy was under a large list of "conduct detrimental to the club" items.
That policy remains on hold under the standstill agreement, which comes after the NFLPA filed a grievance on July 10. In its grievance, the union stated, among other things, that the policy infringes on player rights.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, the maximum discipline for conduct detrimental to the club is a week's salary or a suspension of up to four games. A source informed of the situation told NFL Network's Michael Silver, however, it is unrealistic that any player would be suspended four games for kneeling during the anthem if the policy was enforced.
The NFL approved the new national anthem policy in May, requiring players and league personnel on the sideline to stand. Players and personnel also have the option to remain in the locker room if they don't choose to stand.
Individual clubs also have the power to set their own policies to ensure the anthem is being respected during any on-field action. If a player chooses to protest on the sideline the NFL will fine the team. Players could also be fined by their teams, per the policy.