Despite drawing the ire of many players, the Week 15 game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Cleveland Browns ended up getting postponed until Monday. The postponement didn’t change much as the Browns only got one player off the COVID-19/Reserve list. The Raiders ended up winning 16-14 so they were happy in the end.
However, their original frustration was warranted. Prior to the postponement, the Raiders had no COVID-19 cases on the team and were ready to head over to Cleveland for a Saturday game. Players like K.J. Wright and Casey Hayward were irate with the decision and even called out NFLPA president JC Tretter, who is the starting center for the Browns. With the game now in the past, Tretter had a chance to discuss what went into the decision to postpone the game.
“The NFL’s position last week was that those three games were going to be canceled,” Tretter said, per the Akron Beacon Journal. “They weren’t going to be played, and if they weren’t played, then nobody on either team was going to be paid. That’s obviously an issue for us as a union when over 18% of our player population was at risk of not getting paid last week.
“Our position was that we needed to make sure all games are played in order for our guys to get paid. We took a vote with the Executive Committee of the union, which voted unanimously that our position needed to be that games need to be rescheduled and not canceled and we pushed the league for that resolution.”
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Tretter Has Spoken With the Raiders Players
Based on Tretter’s comments, it sounds like the game was either going to get postponed or canceled. While the Raiders wouldn’t have minded a free win and a week off, the players may have had a different reaction had they realized they could’ve lost a good chunk of money. Tretter revealed that he had spoken to Raiders players and explained why the game needed to get postponed.
“The thing that people didn’t understand was I was fighting for the same thing for the Browns players as I was for the Raiders players, and that’s to get paid,” Tretter said. “That’s my job as president. I was elected by the players to represent all the players, and I don’t think everybody was fully aware of just how close those games were to being canceled.
“I don’t think everybody was fully aware that if canceled, they weren’t going to get paid. Both teams weren’t going to get paid. I think that was news to some people. Once they understood that fact, I think guys started to realize what exactly we as a union were fighting for.”
Raiders Still Got the Win
At the end of the day, the Raiders were still able to leave Cleveland with a win, which is all that really matters. It was a tough and ugly game but a win is a win. The Raiders are now back in the playoff race with only three games left to be played.
The bigger ramifications for the team is that they now play the Denver Broncos on a short week. The Raiders dominated the AFC West rival the last time they played but this is a different team now. A couple of extra days to prepare would’ve certainly helped.