Sports News

Reports: NFL rosters cut to 80, preseason axed

The NFL Players Association told players Tuesday that roster limits will be cut from 90 players to 80 for training camp, and the preseason will be entirely canceled, according to multiple reports.

FILE PHOTO: The NFL logo is pictured on a football at an event in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Both changes were generally expected, although a firm decision on roster sizes had not previously been reported. Multiple reports on Monday night said the NFL had offered to cancel the full preseason, which the union had strongly recommended.

According to NFL Network, the NFL Management Council Executive Committee still must sign off on the trimmed roster size. Per the report, some had discussed a scenario where teams could choose to keep 10 players on a standby roster, but the union wants all teams to follow one rule.

Most teams rosters have been at 90 or just below for most of the offseason.

Additionally, according to multiple reports, the sides appear close to an agreement on how players can opt out of the season.

ESPN reported opt-out details are not yet firm, but NFL Network said there is a general agreement on voluntary and high-risk opt-outs, with the details being finalized. The MMQB reported the opt-out deadline is still being determined.

Meanwhile, negotiations continue regarding the training camp schedule, as players push for a longer ramp-up period, with more strength and conditioning and limited practices before eventually starting fully padded sessions.

NFL Network reported earlier Tuesday that the NFL’s latest proposal would have strength and conditioning through the first 12 days of camp, then non-padded practices through Day 18, with padded practices starting on Day 20 following a day off. The union’s first proposal asked for three weeks of strength and conditioning and two weeks of non-padded practices.

Rookies and quarterbacks began reporting to teams Monday, with only COVID-19 testing and physicals scheduled for the first few days.

Economic negotiations -- namely how to manage the expected revenue shortfall with regard to the salary cap -- still have a ways to go, according to multiple reports, but no agreement is required on that subject until games draw near in September.

Per NFL Network, there is a general agreement on stipends for players if games are lost due to the pandemic, but The MMQB reports the league does not want undrafted rookies to be eligible for stipends.

-Field Level Media