Jaguars executive V.P. of football operations Tom Coughlin say that all players should be present for voluntary offseason workouts. The president of the NFL Players Association says that voluntary doesn’t mean what Coughlin apparently thinks it means.
“Our CBA definition of voluntary is the same as the actual definition of voluntary,” NFLPA president Eric Winston said in a statement issued to PFT, “and prohibits anyone from threatening players to participate in voluntary workouts. This is precisely the reason players negotiated strict work rules and bright lines when it comes to offseason activities. We know, from experience, that not all coaches and executives will adhere to them and we always pursue any violations to protect our rules.”
This implies that Coughlin’s bright-line violation will be pursued, through the proper channels. The question at this point isn’t whether a violation happened but what the appropriate sanction should be.
That also could be said for the Broncos’ decision to cut defensive back Craig Mager, whose only apparent sin seems to be that he hasn’t shown up for offseason workouts due to personal reasons, including the bonus minicamp that the Broncos may conduct in connection with the fact that they have a new coach.
On one hand, the Broncos want someone to participate in the workouts, and Mager is taking a roster spot that could go to someone who will voluntary do so. On the other hand, all players have a right to skip voluntary workouts, from Player No. 1 to Player No. 90 on the offseason roster.