NFLPA Reportedly Will Require Agents to Consult with It During Contract Talks

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIFebruary 23, 2016

NFL Players Association President Eric Winston speaks during a news conference Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The NFL Players Association reportedly sent out a memo requiring contract advisers to contact the organization during most contract renegotiations.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio passed along Tuesday what the memo said verbatim, citing multiple sources who informed him of the new protocols:

[E]ffective immediately...Contract Advisors are REQUIRED to contact the NFLPA Salary Cap & Agent Administration Department at the 'beginning of substantive discussions' with an NFL Club over any veteran RENEGOTIATION in which either the initial Club offer or the expected final NFL Player Contract has an Average Per Year (APY) of $2,000,000 or more.

A source told Florio the policy applies only to renegotiations despite language in other areas of the memo that seems to suggest otherwise.   

Free agency begins on March 9, so this new stipulation, which was reportedly included in a Feb. 1 memo, is relatively new and may prove difficult for all parties involved to adjust to on the open market.

Thursday marks the yearly NFLPA meeting in Indianapolis, where agents can engage in discussions about the policy during another busy time in pro football with the NFL Scouting Combine.

Citing to a source who's familiar with the union's rationale behind the new provision, Florio indicated its primary purpose is to discourage agents from agreeing to language in a contract to void guaranteed money.

Minor details in a contract and minimal offenses committed by the player can result in the voiding of guaranteed money, so the NFLPA is looking out for its players as much as possible in those instances.

But front offices may be less inclined to renegotiate contracts since the players union will be privy to certain information from the discussions.

The union's effort to protect its own may actually impede progress in contract negotiations. Especially if a veteran player wants to make a deal work to remain with a team he's been loyal to, that course of action may be all the more challenging for the player, his agent and the team involved.