When NFLPA senior director of player affairs Don Davis related the NFL’s proposal to hold 35 percent of player salaries in escrow this year to team representatives, he told them that the union’s response was to tell the league to “kick rocks.”
That response was similar to the one shared by many players around the league on social media and Davis said on WEEI Wednesday “typically that is the reaction” whenever you’re asked to take a pay cut. He went on to say that the NFLPA understands the impact that COVID-19 is expected to have on league revenues and that both sides should continue to have dialogue about the best way to move forward.
“I think any time you’re in a labor and management disagreement, contract, negotiation, I think you have two sides that tend to be on opposite sides,” Davis said. “They tend to be divergent. However, I think both sides understand the dynamics that are in play, and neither side could have predicted or prepared for what we are currently experiencing with this novel and emerging virus called COVID-19. I think it’s in both of our interests to continue to discuss it and figure out ways to mitigate losses to the game. But I think that first and opening ask was a bit outrageous.”
Davis didn’t share what might be a less outrageous place for the two sides to continue talking about the financial fallout from the pandemic, but that’s likely to be the subject of further conversations with training camp starting in less than three weeks.