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Team virtual work could continue indefinitely if no deal between NFL, NFLPA

The majority of veteran players across the NFL are slated to report to training camp next Tuesday, but the league and NFLPA continue to negotiate how to handle the economic impact on the 2020 season caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A failure to reach a deal by the end of the upcoming weekend could cause virtual work to continue indefinitely.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Thursday that owners continue to push for an agreement to lower the salary cap in 2020 and 2021 in anticipation of a multibillion-dollar revenue shortfall this year -- proposals the players' union and general managers believe could lead to a rash of veteran cuts.

There currently is no set deadline to account for such a revenue shortfall, but Pelissero reported ownership wants to finalize a deal before Sunday when the Chiefs and Texans rookies are scheduled to begin strength and conditioning. If there is no agreement by Sunday, Pelissero added the NFL could potentially inform clubs that virtual work will continue indefinitely with no camp schedule agreed to.

The current CBA contains a no strike/lockout/suit clause, per Pelissero.

Players have made it clear throughout the talks they would prefer to spread the financial hit through 2030 (the length of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement). NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and president J.C. Tretter sent a memo to agents Wednesday night, emphasizing the union's position to spread the projected economic impact over the 11-year period.

Pelissero reported that one GM said even a $10 million reduction in the 2020 salary cap would be "too much" at this stage as rosters are largely set and resources allocated.

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