Phase Three is finally here.
The voluntary portion of the offseason program, an unexpected source of consternation in 2021 between labor and management, culminates on Monday with the first day of a multi-week series of Organized Team Activities.
Some teams have agreed to restrict the number and/or intensity of these voluntary OTA sessions, in order to persuade players to participate. Some have even scrapped their mandatory minicamps in response to the players’ push to limit the amount of offseason work.
And so it will be interesting to see who does and doesn’t show up. Especially in places like Green Bay, where quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the front office continue to be stuck in an impasse that has faded from view in large part because there has been no news to push the story forward. If Rodgers attends, the story moves one way. If he doesn’t, it continues to tumble toward the question of whether he boycotts the mandatory minicamp.
Regardless, the offseason program moves on. Yes, it’s voluntary. As a practical matter, it has become anything but. This year, with players exercising their rights to stay away more aggressively than they have in years if not ever, it will be interesting to see who does, and doesn’t, participate.