John McClain, who has covered the NFL for 45 years at the Houston Chronicle, joined Outkick to talk MLB and Astros coming back, Coronavirus in Houston, NFL preseason games, contract opt-outs, COVID testing, and more.
“So, first of all, the Texans and Chiefs rookies and assorted veterans report today. They get to report before everybody else because they play that first game on September 10th. They’re veterans come in on Saturday and they’re supposed to practice Sunday, but as it is you come in, you undergo testing. Every NFL team as a mobile unit at their facility to test them and get the results within 24 hours. The NFL is paying a fortune for a private company that way it doesn’t affect the public. So, players and all the personnel, including me, under the policy 10 media people go to practice and are in the building, although we can’t be around the players. So, we’ll get tested too when the time comes when the veterans are in there. So, it feels with the Texans and Chiefs reporting like it’s starting, but there are so many issues. JJ Watt, DeShaun Watson, Drew Brees, Stefon Diggs, Russell Wilson all tweeted yesterday, with a hashtag we want to play, about they want the league to get off its horse and come up with some protocols that players can live with. Because right now, Clay, they’re going to have to go to work. And even though the league is giving them all these options and recommendations the union hasn’t accepted them because a lot of them are unfair. Like an August 1st deadline to opt-out for the season. Number one, they may not even have these protocols in place by August 1st. And I think if you opt-out for the season, that’s ridiculous because what if they get a vaccine by then.
“So, I think if you opt-out, you should be able to come back at some point in the season. They don’t know preseason games, roster sizes, opt-out clauses, salary cap implications, your base salary, what happens when you test positive, what happens when a group tests positive? They don’t have the answer to any of these questions. They don’t want any preseason games. So, coaches, of course, always want preseason games because they need evaluator a roster. As it is now, I think they’ll play one, which doesn’t seem fair. Every team ought to have a home preseason game so they can just go through the process of no fans. And another thing is, they need to know how many players are going to test positive. You can’t wait till the regular season and then all of a sudden find out the first game like, say the Chiefs and the Texans, they had 20 of their guys test positive the next week. It might be one, might be nine, might be 20. They don’t know. That’s why they need at least one preseason game to let them bleed on each other, sweat, spit, snot, everything they do during a game, and see what the ramifications are. The only way you’re gonna find out, Clay is you got to do it.”
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) July 20, 2020