Tensions are rising between the NFL and the Players Association after reports emerged Tuesday that the league proposed holding 35 percent of players salaries in escrow.
The NFL’s proposition was immediately shot down by the NFLPA. According to the NFL Network, the union informed players on a conference call that the union delivered a clear message: ‘Basically, we told them to kick rocks.”
The union also argued that such a proposition would have to be collectively bargained.
Players throughout the league took to social media after news broke, making it clear that they would not budge.
“Lol everyone will sit out and not play until they get their stuff together before we do this,” New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas said in a tweet.
“Has to be a joke lol,” he said in a follow up tweet. “Roger [Goodell] and those owners better use their billions and put it in escrow or plan accordingly. Our health is way more important. This is about as backwards as it gets.”
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who just signed a historic 10-year extension worth up to $503 million, reacted to Thomas’ tweet.
News of the proposal came shortly after NFLPA president JC Tretter wrote a blog post criticizing the league for prioritizing the preseason schedule and training camp over “player safety.”
“... the NFL is unwilling to prioritize player safety and believes that the virus will bend to football,” Tretter wrote. “We will continue to hold the NFL accountable and demand that the league use data, science and the recommendations of its own medical experts to make decisions. It has been clear for months that we need to find a way to fit football inside the world of coronavirus. Making decisions outside that lens is both dangerous and irresponsible.”
A “well-placed player source” told the NFL Network Wednesday that the chances that the NFLPA will agree to the escrow deal are “less than zero percent.”
A public dispute between the league and the players union could spell trouble for the NFL. MLB found itself in a similar situation last month over the schedule length.