The COVID-19 pandemic prevented NFL teams from having in-person offseason work, and resulted in the entire preseason being canceled. But the league still had a full regular season and postseason, and NFL Players Association President J.C. Tretter says the season proved that players are perfectly capable of getting ready to play on their own.
“It’s important to highlight that information because what it also shows is that we had an extremely successful, competitive season, too,” Tretter said, via the Buffalo News. “And the decrease in practice time, the virtual offseason, the acclimation, all that stuff that was dictated by science to keep us healthy, it worked in keeping us healthy and we had more competitive games, more scoring, higher performance, more parity, more drama than really any year. That’s important to highlight in these discussions that, when we search for answers on how to make the product better and how to keep players healthy, we have the answers we just saw. And we need to continue to build off those answers and not ignore what we just saw, what we just learned from.”
NFL offseason programs begin April 19, and the league and players’ union do not agree about how the offseason should be structured. From the union’s perspective, the 2020 season proved that if offseason work requirements could be relaxed for one season, and that season was played successfully, that’s proof that those requirements should be relaxed for good.