Atlanta Falcons: Rich McKay says franchise wants to play in 2020

Rich McKay President & CEO Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Rich McKay President & CEO Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Atlanta Falcons will only play football if both the NFL and the NFLPA are in agreement with safety protocols.

Like every other NFL player, Atlanta Falcons players have been discouraged from working out together in order to avoid spreading or catching COVID-19 as we see spike happening in more than 25 states.

Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay went on local radio last week and said the organization is committed to playing a season in 2020 but only if certain conditions are met ahead of time.

"“I think you have two goals in my mind for football. Number one is we want to play football, and number two we’re not going to do it if we can’t play very safely,” McKay said. “I think that’s why those protocols do matter. That’s why the details of those protocols do matter and that’s why I think that everything you do in lockstep with the union and the union’s doctors. So that the players have a very good feel for where those protocols came from and why they’re in place.”"

The last thing that the NFL wants is to repeat what we are seeing from Major League Baseball from the standpoint of both sides verbally stating that they want to play but cannot seem to get it together.

Atlanta Falcons and the NFL have the benefit of time

The NFL had the luxury of the 2019  season-ending and a full offseason by the time that COVID-19 became a full-fledged global crisis and have been able to use that time to come together and create contingency plans in order to keep players and team members safe.

While COVID-19 has clearly canceled all of the offseason team activities across the league and forced them to scramble to hold its wildly successful virtual draft, they have had time to consider and plan out what a season will look like with or without fans and have months of scientific data in order to help keep everyone safe.

Let’s hope that the NFL is using their time wisely and like McKay said, hopefully, the NFL and NFLPA can come to an agreement long before August so that players can get back on the field and play the game that they love.

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Ultimately, there is too much money at stake for all parties, so even if it means teams will have to pump in crowd noise to an empty arena, we will have NFL football in 2020.