NFLPA tells NFL it will urge players not to show up for any in-person offseason work

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The NFL Players Association continues to push back against the NFL’s desire for in-person workouts this spring. The union wants an all-virtual offseason, arguing it is the smartest and safest approach.

NFLPA President JC Tretter told players on a call Friday the union will urge players not to show up if teams conduct in-person organized team activities, Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports.

“We’ve been telling them: It’s voluntary, and we’re not gonna go,” Tretter said, via Pelissero.

Of the NFL’s 2,500 players, some 300 have workout bonuses they would lose by skipping OTAs, according to Pelissero.

Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the lone mandatory work before training camp is a June minicamp. The union wants even that to be virtual again this year because of the ongoing pandemic.

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians has pointed out that a virtual offseason program benefits veteran players.

“If we lose spring, [young players] are not getting developed. The veterans love that s–t, because that means they don’t get to take their jobs,” Arians said in February.

Talks continue between the NFL and the NFLPA over the offseason program. Phase One is scheduled to begin April 19 with players allowed to work out at the team facility in small groups.

27 responses to “NFLPA tells NFL it will urge players not to show up for any in-person offseason work

  1. Great. Football will be all athleticism and zero fundamentals. Like the NBA.

  2. Why not encourage in person training? I’d think it would be good to go and try as hard as possible.

  3. The player who would “opt out” of voluntary workouts with his team (excluding established team veterans) is someone I don’t want on my team. Even healthy veterans that are new to my team should be present for these critical opportunities to positively develop the team.

  4. Makes sense to me. Why would the union support anything that make these players better.

  5. Go get the vaccine if you are so concerned about your safety. Its available to anyone at this point. What a joke this union has turned to be.

  6. What an over privileged group of whiners. So much for practice makes perfect.

  7. The younger players, the new players (drafted or picked up afterwards), and the smart players who’ve been traded or who have been picked up as free agents, will go and will benefit from it. Further, coaches and gm’s will take note of who shows and who doesn’t, and it will influence their decisions. It won’t be “the” determining factor, but it will be a factor down the line. And if a hard working rookie beats out a vet who doesn’t show? More power to the rook!

  8. Based on the numbers of dead and infected people in the United States, compared to the rest of the world, I don’t blame the NFLPA for looking out for themselves. We’re obviously not getting the same information the rest of the world has been getting, and we’re paying a steep price. Probably 100 million Americans have been infected, and a certain number of those will have major problems for the rest of their lives. We don’t know the exact numbers, but we know it’s going to be devastating. Even if you get the vaccine, you don’t have full protection.

  9. First off, by June I hope this becomes nothing more than a minor issue and the players who want to be vaccinated can and can gather safely. That being said, if the NFLPA views this as a legitimate player safety issue for the duration of the spring, perhaps they should take a spin around the social media accounts of some of their members– not exactly a glowing representation of proper COVID protocol.

  10. “Go get the vaccine if you are so concerned about your safety. Its available to anyone at this point. What a joke this union has turned to be.”

    That’s funny, because based on your commenting profile you are undoubtedly an anti-vaxxer. You don’t care about the players safety or the safety of the public in general.

  11. I’m a pro-union guy in a real-world workplace.
    The union I belonged to got me treated very well by my employers.
    The NFL union, though, has been selling its players out since Gene Upshaw was the president. They’ve only gotten worse since.

  12. Players would be much better off without this union that doesn’t do anything for the players anyway.

  13. The NFLPA is out of touch for many reasons.
    The first reason is they favor their highest paid players more than the average or lowest paid players.
    The second is they don’t care about the players’ health any more than the owners do, otherwise there’s no way their players would play games in Europe, or on Sunday, Monday, or Thursday nights!!
    The third reason is they deserve the reputation they get as greedy, fat-cats who think they are better than everyone else.
    The fourth reason is, they are employees who are treated extremely well by their employers.
    The fifth reason is, they don’t care about the people who really pay their salaries — the fans — anymore than the owners do.
    I am one who would not care if there was a strike or lock out at the end of this collective bargaining agreement. Let them all get a taste of what Americans all around the country have been dealing with in this pandemic.

  14. NFLPA .. Not For Long Players Association. That’s what it will be if they keep coming up with these ideas. Stay home, don’t come to work; brilliant.

  15. NFLPA: We want player safety NFL: We’re gonna do 17 game seasons… NFLPA: OKAY!

  16. Imagine a world where players do what their bosses told them to do. Imagine a world where they did not act like entitled whiners.
    They might get more sympathy and support when it comes to labor negotiations. Now? They’re always on the losing side of the PR fight.
    Self inflicted wounds.

  17. What the NFL needs to do is pay players all year round, instead of only game checks, so its a win for everyone. I would assume they could demand players showing up for off-season workouts, thus making the on field product better, better for the fans, better for ratings. Paying all year round would help players manage their finances better. Its seriously a no brainer.

  18. Watching how teams now routinely build their rosters–a few superstars on huge contracts with as many rookie contracts as possible filling in around them–if I were a veteran trying to hang on in the league I’d be going to everything I possibly could to try to keep my foot in the door.

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