As the calendar turns toward summer, anticipation for football season is beginning to build.
But while there seem to have been some positive developments regarding the NFL's plans to get back on the field amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Cleveland Browns center and newly elected NFLPA president JC Tretter warned that there are still steps that need to be taken before that actually happens.
"Players: our union has not agreed to any reopening plan," Tretter tweeted on Tuesday. "Any reports about coming back to work are hypothetical. You will hear from the NFLPA when there are new developments."
Tretter's post seemed to come in response to a report from Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson, who said that NFL head coaches could return to team facilities as soon as next week, with minicamps to follow as early as June 15 or as late as June 27. Those dates, however, raised a red flag to Tretter, who said that the NFL and NFLPA have a hard stop date for the offseason scheduled for June 26.
"There is a hard stop date for our offseason program on June 26th. Your source not knowing that and saying June 27th is an option to return should show everyone that this source’s info is questionable," Tretter posted in a reply to Robinson. "The June 26th end date was agreed to by the NFL and NFLPA. My point to you is your story is factually wrong on that point."
Considering the circumstances of the pandemic, any return for NFL players -- before June 26 or after -- would likely require approval from the NFLPA. According to Tretter, that hasn't come yet, leaving at least one obstacle to be cleared as the football calendar reaches a critical point in terms of preparation for teams and players.