On Tuesday morning, Detroit Lions players started arriving in Allen Park for training camp 2020 and their first order of business was to take their first of three COVID-19 tests.
According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, quarterback Matthew Stafford was among the players who has already been in the testing trailer.
In order for players to be allowed in the Lions training facility, they must first pass three COVID-19 tests.
Lions players started taking their first of three COVID-19 tests they need to pass before being allowed in the building this morning. Matthew Stafford is among those who already has been in the testing trailer.
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) July 28, 2020
With players around the league opting out of the 2020 season because of their concerns about COVID-19, there has been speculation that Stafford could decide to go that route since he and his wife Kelly have a new baby and Kelly is not far removed from brain surgery.
The fact that Stafford is already in town and is being tested seems to indicate that he has made the decision to play during the 2020 season.
Agreement between NFL/NFLPA could result in contract extension for Lions QB Matthew Stafford
The NFL and NFLPA have reached an agreement on player safety in regards to COVID-19, along with financial changes that will be spread out over the next few seasons.
In regards to the league’s financial situation, a big loss of revenue is being anticipated for 2020, which had an agreement not been reached, would have lowered the 2021 salary cap to a level at which many teams would not be able to handle. Instead, the agreement sets a floor of $175 million for the 2021 season, which the remainder of the potential losses from the 2020 season being spread out over 2022, 2023, and 2024. If the losses end up being less than projected, the 2021 cap would be higher than $175 million.
So, what does this mean for a team like the Detroit Lions?
The Lions are actually in decent shape according to Spotrac, as their current contracts for 2021 (45 players) add up to $171,898,576. That, coupled with the estimated 21,591,275 that they could roll over from the 2020 season, means they would have more flexibility than many teams in the league will have if the 2021 cap ends up at $175 million.
Erik Schlitt of Lions Wire recently agreed with a tweet suggesting that it could be a good time to give Matthew Stafford a contract extension, noting that he thinks “most teams with veteran QBs will be looking into altering their top players’ contract either via extension or by converting base salaries into bonuses.”
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