Lukewarm to a proposed 18-game regular-season format by NFL owners, the NFL Players Association nevertheless has made what it says is a “good-faith” counterproposal that addresses the player safety risks incumbent with an expanded season.
The union’s counterproposal, according to sources, includes significantly reduced voluntary offseason workouts and a specific number of helmetless and padless practices during training camp.
The highlights of the union proposal:
• Voluntary offseason workouts would be reduced from the current 14 weeks to five weeks or 20 days (four days a week, four-hour maximum per day).
• Significantly reduced contact between players during training camp with four practices a week consisting of helmetless and padless periods.
• Two in-season bye weeks.
• Expanded rosters from the current 53 to 56 or 57, in addition to practice squads.
• Increased prorated salaries for players under contract.
• Reduction of the amount of games players need to become vested to qualify for post-career health care and pension benefits.