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NFLPA distributes 'work stoppage' guide to financially prepare players

Cassandra Negley
Yahoo Sports Contributor

The current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire at the end of the 2020 season, in March 2021, and while it seems like a long way off, talks have already begun to avoid a work stoppage.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be one.

The NFL Players Association urged its players in May to prepare for a stoppage of at least a year, and this week NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith released a detailed guide for how to properly prepare.

NFLPA releases ‘work stoppage’ guide

Sources on both the NFLPA and NFL sides insist a stoppage is unlikely, according to ESPN, but the players association wants to prepare players for the worst. The guide, which ESPN obtained, focuses mostly on simple money management practices such as spending money on groceries instead of going to restaurants and selling things that don’t serve a purpose.

The guide tells players to save at least half of each paycheck this season. If expenses eat up more than 50 percent, the guide describes how to “change spending habits and reduce financial commitments.”

Via ESPN:

  • Try cooking at home instead of eating out as much.

  • Designate one day a week as "no spending day."

  • Take care of major home repairs now.

  • If you're in the market for a new home, consider renting instead of buying for now.

  • Find renters for your unoccupied homes or bedrooms.

  • Consider selling a car you have not driven in the past six months.

  • Avoid signing a long-term lease on any rental property that you rarely use.

  • Learn to say "no" — or at least, "not now" — to friends and family asking for money.

  • Consider selling clothes you have not worn in a year on Poshmark, Thredup or Tradesy.

Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson reported in February the players collectively agreed to save four years’ worth of “Madden” video game royalty checks to disperse during a stoppage.

18-game season, marijuana policy part of labor talks

The sides are looking to avoid what happened in 2011: a long, drawn-out negotiation with a lockout that lasted until July. There are a few sticking points already reported that each side is fighting.

The 18-game regular-season schedule has been floated for years in the NFL and during the last CBA negotiations a decade ago, the NFLPA opposed it on the grounds of safety.

The owners want a longer season to bring in more revenue, which the Wall Street Journal reports could be $2.5 billion. They’re reportedly willing to offer a deal that limits players to 16 of the 18 games.

The marijuana policy is another sticking point for the two sides. Players have argued it helps them deal with pain and owners are reportedly willing to discuss a change in the current policy. There are no further details on what a new policy would look like.

A main issue for the players is the cut of revenue, which currently can’t fall below 47 percent. They’d like it to be higher, per ESPN.

The NFL and NFLPA are reportedly working to get an agreement done this summer, but time is running short. There were at least three owner/player negotiation sessions this spring and the sides reportedly were to meet up to four times last month.

But according to ESPN, “little progress” has been made. More sessions are scheduled “tentatively” for next week and it will be decided if there’s enough for a formal negotiating session next week.

There are three weeks until the 2019 season officially kicks off.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith sent out a 'work stoppage' guide to prepare for a potential lockout. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

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