Could current offseason workout fight cause more teams to use workout bonuses?

NFL: JUN 01 Packers OTA
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With the current labor deal between the NFL and NFL Players Association in place for another decade, the question of whether players will or won’t show up for voluntary workouts could linger. There’s a way that teams could try to deal with it.

More teams could begin to use workout bonuses more regularly, in an effort to resolve the question of whether players will show up for voluntary workouts long before they have to actually do so. If teams like the Chiefs, Jaguars, Bills, and Packers (whose players aren’t being pressed by the union to stay away) begin placing significant workout bonuses into the contracts of multiple players, more teams wouldn’t have to worry about players choosing not to show up for offseason workouts.

The players can say no. But the players don’t negotiate the contracts; their agents do. Some players will simply do whatever their agents recommend, and plenty of agents would prefer that their players work out at the team facility.

Of course, whether and to what extent agents agree to workout bonuses could also become a recruiting point for agents. Those who refuse to ever agree to a workout bonus on behalf of a client could attract more clients, particularly those clients who don’t want their money tied to working out with the team.

Regardless, the not-so-subtle leverage that comes from a six-figure workout bonus — leverage that will help the Chiefs, Jaguars, Bills, and Packers see normal offseason participation in 2021 — could attract other teams to do the same, as to all contracts negotiated between now and the 2022 offseason program.