NFL, as expected, has no issue with Tom Brady-organized Buccaneers workouts

AP

Yes, Tom Brady was spotted working out with some of his new teammates in Tampa. No, it’s not an issue for the NFL.

Via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the NFL says that Brady and his teammates may practice outside the team facility, as long as they follow the recommendations of state and local authorities. With the current trend toward relaxing and/or eliminating stay-at-home orders, it becomes far less problematic in late May than it would have been in late March for players to congregate outdoors to practice football.

Besides, the NFL consistently has made it clear, given its past inaction, that no action will be taken against players who violate stay-at-home orders to engage in football workouts or to otherwise participate in events that run afoul of state and/or local mandates. Despite the importance of limiting the spread of the coronavirus by honoring the rules and regulations of a given jurisdiction, the league simply hasn’t been inclined to punish players who may be breaking those rules.

At this point, then, in a fairly open state like Florida, the league won’t stand in the way of Brady and other players from getting together on their own to do things that they would be prohibited from doing at the team facility. Even if in a given city or state such activities would be permitted at team facilities, the fact that plenty of teams currently can’t conduct such activities at their facilities has kept all facilities closed to players. (Curiously, however, Brady and his teammates apparently have managed to finagle official Buccaneers helmets for these workouts.)

So here’s the broader message to players who want to engage in player-organized workouts: Make sure you’re in a place where that kind of thing is allowed and, if not, consider taking the workouts to a place where it is. That said, don’t be surprised if players engage in workouts wherever they may be, given that the league likely won’t be stopping them from doing it, even if the local rules technically prohibit it.

12 responses to “NFL, as expected, has no issue with Tom Brady-organized Buccaneers workouts

  1. The NFL can’t just start enforcing rules without negotiations with the CBA. Of course players can get together and work out.

  2. Not a surprise, given how the NFL just a month ago broadcast in prime time many draftees ignoring the prohibition of large gatherings in homes.

  3. Careful Brady. You used to be able to do what you wanted in the NFL and in Massachusetts. Now you mess up you can actually get arrested in Tompa Bay.

  4. The Brady practices are just one example and only deemed newsworthy because it Brady. The recent police blotter activity was all guys at or coming from parties where they were gathered with other people. If going to parties in houses is ok then I cant see how practicing out on a field wouldn’t also be ok.

  5. I hate Brady as much as anyone else but I don’t see the issue here. They are in a group less than 10, outside and that’s in a state that has already started relaxing stay at home rules. Maybe how they got their helmets is interesting but again facilities have been open for rehab. Couldn’t they just ask a physical therapist who goes there to throw some helmets in a bag and leave it outside?

  6. This has never been a problem in the past? Why would it be now? QB’s and Receivers etc always do this. Every year. Who cares?

  7. If he was still on the Pats, there’d be fines and draft picks taken, no question about it.

    The only sports league in human history that cheated a franchise to try to slow them down so the league could try to make more money.

  8. We want the NFL to return, but we don’t want players to prepare? I think something has to give. I am sure they are taking precautions and limiting their contact with their families, etc. They have to get ready at some point to play in Sept.

  9. At this rate, 43 year old Brady will have very little left in the tank for 16 games.

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