Buccaneers plan a “voluntary” bubble during the regular season

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Why bargain with the union for the right to compel players to live in a hotel all season when it can be done on a “voluntary” basis?

NFL teams are waking up to the ability to create a hardened bubble without seeking formal permission to do so. The league already has said, in an email to PFT, that it’s permissible to have a voluntary sequestration, which the Saints are doing during training camp. One of their top rivals is now taking it to the next level.

Via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday that the team has secured a hotel in Tampa for players to sequester “if they choose.”

Spoiler alert: They will choose.

Despite Tom Brady‘s cavalier attitude toward the coronavirus during the offseason, he surely realizes that a positive test will shut a player down, for at least a game. So he’ll encourage players — especially those deemed to be at the highest risk of doing something that would expose them to the virus — of staying there.

It will be interesting to see whether Brady stays there himself. His candid remarks to Howard Stern regarding past friction with Mrs. Brady could make a five-month disappearing act a very delicate proposition. But if Brady doesn’t stay at the hotel, how can he expect teammates to do the same?

Regardless, the dynamic of voluntary sequestration is about to become a thing for NFL teams. Those that do it will be less likely to be derailed by an outbreak.