The NFL and NFL Players Association reached an agreement Monday over the issue of coronavirus testing, with tests to be administered daily for at least the first two weeks of training camp. 

The frequency of tests had been one of the biggest issues between the two sides, with the NFLPA pushing for daily tests as opposed to the league's position of every other day. 

After two weeks of daily testing, the timeliness of the tests will be switched to every other day if the positivity rate falls below five per cent among players and Tier I and Tier II individuals. The daily tests will continue past the two-week mark if the positivity rate does not drop. 

"There's no finish line with health and safety and I think these protocols are very much living and breathing documents, which means they will change as we gain new knowledge about this virus, as we gain new knowledge about transmission, as we gain new knowledge about testing and there are new tests and new techniques that come online," Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL chief medical officer, said during a conference call. "We very much anticipate that these protocols will change."

The decision to test every day came as rookies for the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans were set to report to camp, and under the league's protocols, a player must produce one negative test before he is allowed to enter his team's facility. 

"These are complicated issues which involve a lot of factors," Sills said. "But suffice it to say we very much look at it from a medical and public health standpoint, and we want to make sure that first and foremost we're creating the safest possible environment for our players, for our coaches and our staff, but that we're also operating within the safest environment for each one of our clubs' locations, which means ongoing and regular communication with the public health authorities in those areas."

The agreement for daily testing also came one day after several NFL players took to social media to voice their concerns over a lack of a player safety plan for scheduled training camps. 

Prominent players such as Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry all commented on social media on Sunday under the hashtag WeWantToPlay. 

"We know that we can't eliminate risk, but we're trying to mitigate it as much as possible for everyone," Sills said. "We know that this is going to be a shared responsibility." 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has decided not to grant an exception to a public safety executive order to the New York Giants and New York Jets, forcing both teams to play home games without fans in attendance. 

The pre-existing order limits large, outdoor public gatherings in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

The teams – which both call MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey home – issued a joint statement confirming the news on Monday. 

"We support Governor Murphy's decision in the interest of public health and safety," the statement said. 

"Although we would prefer to have fans at MetLife Stadium for our games, we will continue to work with Governor Murphy's office and will provide updates if necessary."

The teams also announced that their training camps will be closed to the public as a cautionary measure. 

"We urge our fans to continue to take the necessary precautions recommended by health officials to stay safe and we look forward to seeing you at MetLife Stadium as soon as possible," the statement said. 

The Giants' and Jets' situation stands in contrast to teams like the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars who have announced plans to fill their stadiums to 20 or 25 per cent capacity with other safety protocols in place. 

MetLife Stadium opened in 2010 and has a seating capacity of 82,500. 

The New York-New Jersey area has been among the hardest hit by COVID-19 in the United States, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting nearly 220,000 confirmed cases in the New York City area. 

NFL players have utilised social media to voice their concerns over a lack of a player safety plan for scheduled training camps, using the hashtag WeWantToPlay.

In an email sent to all 32 teams on Saturday, the league said rookies will in most cases report on Tuesday, quarterbacks and injured players on Thursday and all other players on July 28.

Reigning Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs, along with the Houston Texans, have been granted permission to have rookies report on Monday because they kick off the season on September 10, three days before other teams are in action.

Even with camps set to open, discussions are ongoing between the NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) regarding health and player safety protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the biggest requests from the NFLPA is for players to be tested for COVID-19 daily, as opposed to every other day.

The NFLPA said on Thursday that 72 players were known to have tested positive, as of July 10.

That led to Sunday’s #WeWantToPlay social media blitz, with prominent players such as Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry all commenting on social media.

NFLPA president JC Tretter also tweeted: "What you are seeing today is our guys standing up for each other and for the work their union leadership has done to keep everyone as safe as possible. The NFL needs to listen to our union and adopt the experts' recommendations #wewanttoplay."

The NFL told its 32 teams on Saturday that training camps can start on schedule in the coming week.

In an email, teams were notified that rookies will in most cases report on Tuesday, July 21, quarterbacks and injured players on July 23, followed by all other players on July 28.

Reigning Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs, along with the Houston Texans, have been granted permission to start camp earlier because they kick off the season on September 10, three days before other teams are in action.

Rookies for both those teams will report on Monday, NFL.com said.

Even with camps set to open, discussions are ongoing between the NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) regarding health and player safety protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the biggest requests from the NFLPA is daily player testing for COVID-19 as opposed to every other day. The NFLPA said on Thursday that 72 players were known to have tested positive, as of July 10.

Wide receiver A.J. Green signed his one-year franchise tender for $17.9 million with the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday, and will report to training camp. 

Tagged by the Bengals back in March, the seven-time Pro Bowler had been seeking a multi-year contract to stay in Cincinnati. The two sides did not work out a deal prior to Wednesday's deadline, however, and Green had said he would honour the tag and report to camp. 

"A.J. is one of the best receivers in the NFL," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said in a statement. "He's an important part of our plans, and we're thrilled to have him in the fold from day one. We're looking forward to the impact of his talent and leadership on our offense this season." 

After tearing his left ankle in the first practice of training camp a year ago and missing all of the 2019 season, the soon-to-be 32-year-old will be suiting up for a ninth season with the Bengals – and first without Andy Dalton. 

The fully healed Green will now be teaming up with number one pick Joe Burrow, so arriving at camp on time will be paramount for the two to develop chemistry after Green had worked for so long with a different quarterback. 

Since Green’s rookie season in 2011, only two quarterback-wide receiver tandems have totalled more pass completions than Dalton’s 581 to Green – the Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown (783) and the Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan and Julio Jones (782) – and that is with Green missing all of last season. 

"By signing, A.J. puts himself and the team in the best position to have a great season together, and we look forward to the opportunity at the end of the season to discuss keeping him here long-term," Bengals executive vice president Katie Blackburn said.

"He has been an integral part of our team, and we expect this year that he will be the same impact player he has always been." 

Green has said before he would like to finish his career in Cincinnati, and only Chad Johnson ranks ahead of him in Bengals franchise history in receiving yards (8,907), receptions (602) and touchdown catches (63). 

As the NFL's deadline for teams and franchise-tagged players to agree to long-term contract extensions came to pass, the biggest deal was the deal that didn't happen.

So while the soap opera between Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys gets to air another year after the two sides failed to work out a contract that would have put the talented quarterback among the NFL's highest-paid players, a few other teams were busy locking up vital players amid less fanfare.

Derrick Henry will still be pounding the rock for the Tennessee Titans for the foreseeable future, the Cleveland Browns made Myles Garrett the league's highest-paid defensive player and the Kansas City Chiefs will have defensive lineman Chris Jones on board for what should be an extended window for another Super Bowl run.

When breaking down those aforementioned agreements, it appears all three teams were able to get good value even in what's arguably been the most volatile offseason in league history.

Let's start with Henry. On the surface, the four-year, $50 million contract the Titans gave the 2019 NFL rushing champion looks rather risky considering the often short shelf life of running backs and how a similar pact the Los Angeles Rams constructed with Todd Gurley two summers ago spectacularly backfired.

But Tennessee wisely front-loaded the deal, with most of the $25.5 million in guarantees on the books for the first two seasons, and can cut bait without much penalty after 2021 in the event Henry begins to show a steep decline.

It's not hyperbole to suggest that Ryan Tannehill's breakthrough 2019 season was a direct result of the threat Henry presented to opposing defenses as a runner. By extending their most important player, the Titans have not only given their quarterback his best chance to succeed, they've increased their chances of again contending for an AFC title for at least the next two years.

Of course, the road to an AFC championship still figures to go through Kansas City following the reigning Super Bowl champions' massive recent spending spree that resulted in 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes landing a record 10-year extension worth up to $503 million and Jones agreeing to a four-year, $80 million deal.

The Chiefs will have some tough decisions to make to get under the salary cap once the big money in Mahomes' contract kicks in after this season, but they've rightfully identified Jones, whose 24.5 sacks over the last two seasons trails only Aaron Donald for the most among interior defensive linemen, as a player to keep.

And the 2019 Pro Bowler gets the benefits of some long-term security and the chance to reach free agency at the relatively young age of 30 - not to mention the opportunity to realistically add a few more rings to his collection.

Extending Garrett may not have been an urgent matter for the Browns, as the 2017 number one overall pick still had two seasons remaining on his rookie contract, but the five-year, $125 million extension was a shrewd, forward-thinking move by new general manager Andrew Berry.

Sure, $25 million a year for a non-quarterback is a lot of coin, but Cleveland has the most cap space in the league right now and with the way the pass-rusher market has been trending, that annual salary could be a relative bargain down the road if Garrett continues to produce double-digit sacks towards the latter end of the deal.

After years and years of bumbling leadership hires, the Browns just maybe have finally gotten it right this winter with the additions of two impressive young minds in Berry and new coach Kevin Stefanski.

It's still way too early to gauge the impact the coronavirus will ultimately have on the NFL's economic landscape in the coming years, but the Titans, Chiefs and Browns at least appear to have positioned themselves well for the potential pitfalls that may lie ahead.

Justin Simmons will play the 2020 season on the franchise tag and does not believe the Denver Broncos had any intention of signing him to a long-term deal.

Wednesday's deadline to sign franchise-tagged players to new contracts passed without Simmons and the Broncos coming to terms.

It means the 2019 second-team All-Pro will earn $11.4million on the franchise tender this coming season and could hit the open market in 2021.

"If the Broncos wanted to get a deal done, they would've," Simmons said on NFL Network's 'Good Morning Football'.

"And so the reality is another year on the franchise tag is like a contract year all over again. Year two in [head coach] Vic's [Fangio] system with all the weapons that we have, I'm more than confident in myself and what I can do.

"Moving forward, we'll just have to see. It's a business decision on both ends. Whatever's in my best interest and my family's best interest is always what I'm going to do."

The Broncos are seen by many as a team that could take a step forward in 2020, which will be quarterback Drew Lock's first full season as a starter.

However, Denver face a difficult challenge in an AFC West division that contains the Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs.

But Simmons is confident the Broncos have the personnel, particularly on defense, to contend.

"You're talking about Von Miller, Bradley Chubb is coming back, Jurrell Casey, we've got Shelby Harris, Alexander Johnson, Todd [Davis], myself, Kareem [Jackson], A.J. Bouye, Bryce [Callahan] is coming back," he added.

"We've just got so many weapons around the board. And we're talking about year two, guys feeling comfortable in the system. I can't say enough good things about our defense.

"You talk about a motivated defense at that. Guys willing to prove themselves. I'm excited. The season can't get here fast enough. We just need to get back to some football."

Washington owner Dan Snyder said he supports an "unbiased investigation" after 15 women who previously worked for the franchise alleged they were subjected to sexual harassment from team employees.

The women, only one of whom - Emily Applegate - was willing to go on record, made accusations against former scouts and members of Snyder's "inner circle" in an article by The Washington Post.

Attorney Beth Wilkinson confirmed her firm, Wilkinson Walsh, had been hired by the team to review the allegations.

In a statement, Snyder said: "The behaviour described in yesterday's [Thursday] Washington Post has no place in our franchise or society.

"This story has strengthened my commitment to setting a new culture and standard for our team, a process that began with the hiring of Coach [Ron] Rivera earlier this year.

"Beth Wilkinson and her firm are empowered to do a full, unbiased investigation and make any and all requisite recommendations.

"Upon completion of her work, we will institute new policies and procedures and strengthen our human resources infrastructure to not only avoid these issues in the future but most importantly create a team culture that is respectful and inclusive of all." 

The NFL earlier released a statement, which read: "These matters as reported are serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL's values.

"Everyone in the NFL has the right to work in an environment free from any and all forms of harassment."

The NFL Players Association announced results of partial coronavirus testing among its members on Thursday, saying 72 players were known to have tested positive as of July 10. 

That number would equate to approximately 2.5 per cent of players presently on NFL rosters, though it did not indicate how many players' test results have been accounted for. 

The union also posted an overview map of COVID-19 cases throughout the United States as part of a database available to players and the public on its website, with the metropolitan areas of all 32 NFL teams highlighted within the graph. The map listed Miami as the city with the largest concentration of COVID-19 cases, followed by the Phoenix area, Jacksonville, Tampa and Nashville. 

The Northeast and New England regions showed the lowest number of COVID-19 cases within the last two weeks, with the Boston area having the lowest percentage followed by New York/New Jersey, Buffalo, Detroit and Philadelphia. 

Training camps are scheduled to begin in less than two weeks and the league and the union are still in the process of agreeing on health and safety protocols pertaining to the upcoming season, which the NFL has continually maintained it intends to hold under a full 16-game schedule. 

According to NFL.com, the league issued a counter-proposal to the union on Tuesday that called for a two-game preseason and did not include daily player testing. The report added that owners are scheduled to hold a conference call on Friday to further discuss the ongoing negotiations. 

Myles Garrett expects his shocking on-field clash with Mason Rudolph to "just be a small bump in the road" as he looks to play up to his reported $125million contract extension.

Garrett, the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, was handed a new five-year deal by the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday that is believed to include £100m in guarantees - the most ever for a defensive player.

Although the pass rusher has been productive in Cleveland, recording 30.5 sacks across his three seasons, his most notable act on an NFL field so far came last November in an ill-tempered rivalry game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Garrett clashed with Rudolph, ripping the Steelers quarterback's helmet off and swinging it at his exposed head, an act that resulted in him being suspended indefinitely, with the NFL eventually lifting his ban after the 2019 season ended.

The bad blood between the two continued to linger, with Garrett claiming he reacted to Rudolph using a racial slur - something the Steelers QB denied and an NFL investigation failed to corroborate, but the Browns defensive end does not believe the moment will define his career.

"My life's much bigger than one moment," he told reporters on a Zoom call.

"Me, the Browns and my team-mates are going to look past that and go on to greater success and that will just be a small bump in the road.

"It was a reaction to a situation. It won't happen again. Now I'm prepared."

Garrett added he had not spoken to Rudolph or Pittsburgh's head coach Mike Tomlin, who staunchly defended his player in the wake of the Browns pass rusher's accusation of racism.

"I don't have any ill intent towards either of them," Garrett stressed.

"I hope Mason Rudolph goes on to have success. I would talk to them. I'm going to keep my eyes moving forward."

The 2020 NFL regular season will begin in September and there will once again be high hopes for a Browns team that has talent on both sides of the ball but has yet to deliver on the field.

For Garrett's part, he wants to live up to the megadeal he has just penned.

"Now I have to assert myself as top dog," he said. "I feel like I'm confident and ready to do that.

"Time to prove it."

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott hit back at his critics in a series of Twitter posts on Thursday, calling for his naysayers to "put some RESPECT on my name".

The 24-year-old's standing in the NFL's running back hierarchy has been a topic of discussion this week, with the Tennessee Titans agreeing to a long-term deal with Derrick Henry, and the Madden video game releasing their latest rankings.

Elliott is joint-third on that list - behind Carolina Panthers star Christian McCaffrey and Henry, and level with the Cleveland Browns' Nick Chubb - after amassing 5,405 rushing yards in his four years in the NFL, over 1,000 more than any other back in that timeframe.

His detractors may counter that Elliott has benefitted from playing behind perhaps the best offensive line in the league in that time, though he has clearly been riled by suggestions his impressive numbers should come with any caveat.

"There are a lot of great backs in this league but I don't understand why the media has to talk down on my game just to uplift other backs," he wrote on Twitter.

"We all are talented football players and can ball.

"Check the stats. Since I entered this league I have dominated year in, year out. Put some RESPECT on my name.

"Women lie. Men lie. The stats don't. Go do your homework."

Elliott, a three-time Pro Bowler, had 1,777 yards from scrimmage last season - second behind only McCaffrey's astonishing 2,392.

He produced those numbers having held out of training camp to try and get a new deal, a request the Cowboys granted they when they agreed terms of a six-year, $90million contract less than a week before their regular season began.

"Almost 1800 scrimmage yards and 14 TDs with no training camp and now I'm not the same back," Elliott added.

"I do appreciate the standard you guys hold me to though lol. But I promise you no one holds me to a higher standard than myself."

The Tennessee Titans and star running back Derrick Henry have agreed to a multi-year contract just prior to the NFL's deadline to sign franchise-tagged players.

The Titans had until 16:00 ET to reach an agreement with the 2019 NFL rushing leader, who previously accepted his franchise tender and would have earned $10.3million this season without a new contract.

Henry's new deal with the Titans is reportedly a four-year, $50m contract.

The 26-year-old's contract is the fourth-largest active deal for a running back, behind only the Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott (six years, $90m), Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey (four years, $64m) and the New York Jets' Le'Veon Bell (four years, $52.5m).

Henry – the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner – earned his big payday by leading the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards and tying for the league lead with 16 rushing touchdowns during a breakout 2019 regular season.

He then helped Tennessee advance to the AFC Championship game by rushing for a combined 377 yards in the Titans' upset playoff wins at the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.

Henry's rushing yardage total was the fourth-highest in a season in franchise history, and the most since Chris Johnson led the NFL with 2,006 in 2009.

A second-round pick by Tennessee in the 2016 draft, Henry is the second significant offensive player the team has locked up with a long-term deal this offseason. The Titans were able to re-sign starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a four-year, $118m contract in March.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will play the 2020 NFL season on a one-year exclusive franchise tender after he and the team failed to reach an agreement on a long-term contract by Wednesday's deadline.

Prescott had already signed his tender offer and will earn approximately $31.4million for the upcoming season before becoming an unrestricted free agent, unless the Cowboys opt to again place the franchise tag on him - a move that would count over $37m towards the 2021 salary cap.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection is one of 10 players who have signed their franchise tenders but were unable to come to terms on multi-year contracts with their respective teams. Two others, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, have yet to sign their offers.

The Tennessee Titans were able to agree to a reported four-year, $50m contract with 2019 NFL rushing champion Derrick Henry just prior to the deadline, while the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs locked up defensive lineman Chris Jones with a four-year, $85 million deal on Tuesday.

Along with Prescott, Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rusher Shaq Barrett, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree, Minnesota Vikings safety Anthony Harris, Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry, Baltimore Ravens pass rusher Matthew Judon, Washington guard Brandon Scherff, Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons, New England Patriots guard Joe Thuney and New York Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams will play under the franchise tag in 2020.

Ngakoue has publicly declared his intention to no longer play for the Jaguars and has requested a trade, though the team has yet to find a suitable offer for the standout edge rusher.

NFL.com reported on Tuesday that Prescott had turned down a multi-year offer from the Cowboys that would pay him between $33 and $35m annually and included over $100m in guaranteed money.

The soon-to-be 27-year-old is coming off a stellar 2019 season in which he established career highs of 4,902 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes while directing the NFL's top-ranked offense in terms of total yards per game.

Negotiations between the Cowboys and Prescott were likely impacted by the recent 10-year, $450m extension the Chiefs gave to 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes that reset the top end of the quarterback pay scale.

Judon is currently slated to earn the second-highest salary among the group unable to land multi-year deals after he and the Ravens agreed to a $16.808m offer, a compromise between the tender rate for a defensive end and linebacker. Barrett, Dupree and Williams have filed grievances arguing they should be designated as defensive ends, which carries a higher tender value than linebackers or defensive tackles.  

The Tennessee Titans and star running back Derrick Henry have agreed to a four-year, $50million contract just prior to the NFL's deadline to sign franchise-tagged players, according to NFL.com.

The Titans had until 16:00 ET to reach an agreement with the 2019 NFL rushing leader, who previously accepted his franchise tender and would have earned $10.3m this season without a new contract.

Henry's new deal is the fourth-largest active contract for a running back, behind only Dallas' Ezekiel Elliott (six years, $90m), Carolina's Christian McCaffrey (four years, $64m) and the New York Jets' Le'Veon Bell (four years, $52.5m).

The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner earned his big payday by leading the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards and tying for the league lead with 16 rushing touchdowns during a breakout 2019 regular season. Henry then helped Tennessee advance to the AFC Championship game by rushing for a combined 377 yards in the Titans' upset playoff wins at the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.

Henry's rushing yardage total was the fourth-highest in a season in franchise history, and the most since Chris Johnson led the NFL with 2,006 in 2009.

A second-round pick by Tennessee in the 2016 draft, Henry is the second significant offensive player the team has locked up with a long-term deal this offseason. The Titans were able to re-sign starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a four-year, $118m contract in March.

The Philadelphia Eagles are set to play home games behind closed doors this season due to restrictions enforced because of the coronavirus pandemic.

City officials have informed the Eagles and the Phillies – Philadelphia's MLB franchise – that fans will not be permitted to attend games in 2020. 

Several NFL franchises, including the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots, have already announced plans for reduced capacities that will see a limited number of supporters allowed to attend their games, provided they socially distance.

However, Eagles home games at Lincoln Financial Field in 2020 are likely to have no fans at all because experts believe it is impossible to completely rule out COVID-19 spreading among a crowd.

"The Eagles are still going to be allowed to play, although without crowds. The Phillies will continue to be allowed to play, although without crowds," Philadelphia's managing director Brian Abernathy told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"We have been in communication with the Eagles. We have told them our expectations are that they don't have fans."

The 2020 MLB season is finally set to begin next week, while the NFL campaign starts in September.

The United States has been the country hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with over 3.5million confirmed cases of the virus.

In terms of whether fans will be allowed into stadiums, the NFL is allowing each market to determine how many can attend.

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