Some NFL owners have reportedly proposed changes that would significantly strengthen the penalties for players who hold out in training camp, sources told ESPN's Dan Graziano. The suggestions were made during recent collective bargaining talks with the players' union.
Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon are two of the latest stars to hold out amid ongoing contract disputes. Elliott missed all of Cowboys' training camp this summer and Gordon continues to sit out after missing the Chargers' first two games. Elliott got a new deal right before the season, agreeing to a six-year extension worth a total value of $103 million over the next eight years, including $90 million over the final six. Le'Veon Bell infamously held out all of the 2018 season after the Steelers franchise tagged him for s second straight year.
Bell went on to sign a four-year, $52.5 million deal with the Jets in March. The contract has a max value of $61 million and includes $35 million guaranteed.
Concerned about future holdouts, some owners offered up the idea of seeing increased penalties for players who hold out–a proposal which the NFLPA is reportedly unlikely to agree to without "some significant financial concessions from the owners." A team can currently fine a player up to $40,000 for each day of training camp missed and an amount equivalent to one week of the player's salary for each preseason game missed. It's unclear what specific changes the owners are proposing, but they could include significant increases in fine amounts or changes to contract language that allows teams to void or amend agreements in cases of holdouts.
The current collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2020 season.