The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) is recommending that players opt-out of voluntary in-person workouts and the Denver Broncos have become the first team to agree.
On Tuesday, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and president JC Tretter sent a letter to the players to state the union’s position on workouts for this season, according to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
“We have been in regular contact with the NFL on negotiations over a virtual offseason,” Tretter’s note said. “As we have shared with your Executive Committee and Board, it is clear that neither side wants to move off their respective position. As we have made clear throughout bargaining: The COVID status in the country is as perilous as it was at this point last year; a number of players recently tested positive at team facilities. COVID weekly positive rates are as high, if not higher than, at this point last offseason, and NFL players who contracted COVID last season can become infected again.”
Tretter insisted that the union wants the league to re-institute the same coronavirus rules as last year, adding that minicamps should be virtual like they were in 2020.
“It is the recommendation of the NFLPA based on our medical experts’ advice that if the voluntary offseason program is in person, players should not attend,” Tretter’s note continued. “Therefore, as teams host calls to discuss these issues, we urge that all players consider their own health and safety, make a personal decision about attending voluntary workouts and take into consideration the unanimous recommendation of the NFLPA COVID committee that we have an entirely virtual offseason.”
Tretter concluded by urging layers to let their team officials know of their position.
“Please let your Player Director know what the consensus is of your teammates regarding their individual decision about the voluntary offseason period. We will let you know what we hear regarding minicamps and training camp structure and schedule,” Tretter wrote.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and president JC Tretter just sent this letter to all players, reiterating the union’s recommendation that players should not attend voluntary workouts amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. pic.twitter.com/1VotazhRyr
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 13, 2021
After the NFLPA made its position knows, the Denver Broncos players quickly signed onto the union’s plans and informed the team that they would abide by the union’s suggestion, Pro Football Talk reported.
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