The Broncos became the first group of players to announce they voted not to participate in voluntary offseason workouts that are held in-person. The Seahawks players have followed.
The NFLPA, which has recommended players skip any in-person offseason workouts over COVID-19 concerns, released a statement from Seahawks players Tuesday.
“This pandemic has taught us the significance and importance of life,” the Seahawks statement reads. “As a country we have witnessed a global outbreak that has caught so many changes to our normal ways of living — changes that may have been uncomfortable but necessary. Throughout this pandemic, we have learned that safety is found in so many qualities, but maybe none greater than unity, accountability, and togetherness.
“Last year as a country we experienced an outbreak in COVID-19 that caused a global shutdown, hospitalizations, loss of life, and so much more. While this country was in a pandemic, every NFL athlete was faced with uncertainty leading up to the season. However, because players stuck together — and with the help of the NFL and the NFLPA — an agreement was reached to provide the best safety protocols possible. The agreement still left every NFL athlete with a very tough decision. With very little time, many NFL players chose to put our families and health at risk by participating in the NFL season while others respectfully opted out.
“Although we made it through the entire NFL season, we are also left with the uncomfortable experiences it took for each of us to make it through. Therefore, as voluntary in-person offseason workouts stumble upon us, we are left with yet another decision. The NFLPA has provided us with thorough research and information regarding our safety as players as we enter voluntary workouts this year, especially the benefits on our health and safety from a virtual offseason last year. After considering all the facts, we as a team have decided to make a decision that is uncomfortable but necessary.
“For the protection of everyone’s safety, we the Seattle Seahawks are deciding to exercise our CBA right to not participate in voluntary in-person workouts. While many states in this country are still seeing rising COVID-19 numbers, we believe that a virtual offseason is best for everyone’s protection.
“Our hope is that we will see a positive shift in the COVID-19 date that will allow for a safe return for players when mandatory workouts are set to begin.”
This, of course, does not guarantee that some players won’t break rank and show up for in-person workouts. But a consensus of players from the Broncos and Seahawks have vowed to stay away.