The strange labor-relations dance between the NFL and NFL Players Association continues regarding offseason workouts.
The union continues to point to the ongoing pandemic as a reason for players choosing to stay away. The league continues to point to the fact that the COVID-19 protocols make the team facilities incredibly safe.
“There’s not going to be a safer, healthier environment than the club facilities,” NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent told LaVar Arrington, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Plaxico Burress during a Saturday appearance on FOX Sports Radio. “Each of the coaches, each of those — we call them Tier 1 and Tier 2 — the personnel that is dealing with the player, the athlete, he or she has to be fully vaccinated or they cannot work inside the building.”
As Vincent emphasized on multiple occasions, the offseason program remains voluntary, with the exception of the mandatory minicamp.
“We felt like a year ago there was a great partnership and there still is around this area,” Vincent said. “But again, hey, offseason’s voluntary. Those who are gonna show up, when you show up you know there will be a secure environment for you to work out and hone in on your skills.”
He’s absolutely right. But the hit-or-miss effort to organize a boycott isn’t really about the pandemic. It’s about a variety of other issues and concerns, from veterans not wanting any offseason program ever to players wanting to work out with their own trainers to some players still being salty about the 2020 CBA that resulted in a 17-game regular season.