In a bombshell move, the entire rosters of the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks have announced that they will boycott in-person voluntary workouts (better known as OTAs) this spring due to health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.
A statement on behalf of the Denver Broncos players: pic.twitter.com/b7ZQZ1Z7PY— NFLPA (@NFLPA) April 13, 2021
A statement on behalf of the Seattle Seahawks players: pic.twitter.com/4Bwl4KkEOI— NFLPA (@NFLPA) April 13, 2021
The Broncos players had a conference call Monday night and came to the decision to boycott in-person workouts and meetings as a group. Offseason workout programs across the NFL are set to begin Monday.
Previously, the NFLPA had held a meeting with all players on Friday to encourage them to stay away from in-person workouts and it announced publicly its intentions. On Tuesday, the NFLPA continued to encourage other players around the league to follow the actions of the Broncos, and the Seahawks announced their similar decision soon after.
From NFLPA executive director De Smith and union president J.C Tretter to their players just now, continuing to advocate for an all-virtual offseason program. pic.twitter.com/Q1ozPe9liT— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 13, 2021
Last month, the NFL announced its plan to resume in-person workouts. However, the NFLPA has been advocating a virtual 2021 offseason since last fall. Of course, all NFL offseason programs were conducted virtually in 2020 and there was no in-person instruction. Coaches around the league, in particular Las Vegas Raiders’ coach Jon Gruden, expressed excitement for the return to a normal offseason.
It will be fascinating to see if other teams make a similar move like the Broncos and Seahawks, if so, I expect it to happen quickly. Players would then work out on their own.
Whatever happens, this is a major development and it will have a huge impact around the league.
UPDATE: The Raiders will discuss the matter this week.