The stare-down between the NFL and the NFL Players Association took another twist on Wednesday as the league adjusted its plan for offseason workout programs, which are set to began on Monday, April 19, for all 32 teams.
The league has decided to tweak the plan and push back the in-person work. There will be no on-field work until Phase 2 begins May 17 and a normal Phase 3 with four weeks of practice May 24-June 18, NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero reported.
The NFL informed clubs it will restructure offseason programs, with Phase 1 extended to four weeks starting Monday, no on-field work until Phase 2 begins May 17 and a normal Phase 3 with four weeks of practice May 24-June 18, culminating with the mandatory minicamp. Memo: pic.twitter.com/GrFhO34jUD— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 14, 2021
This was in response to the NFLPA wanting the entire offseason to be virtual as it was last year. The NFLPA has urged players to boycott in-person OTA sessions this spring out of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Players were satisfied with the entire offseason being virtual last year.
So far, the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions and New England Patriots players have released statements through the NFLPA saying all or most of the players from their teams will not participate during the in-person portion of the OTA season. The Las Vegas Raiders reportedly are meeting Wednesday to decide what they will do as a group.
Story coming, but after a day-long series of meetings, @Raiders players will vote tomorrow on OTA's participation. The goal is to move ahead, unified, as a group according to a source.— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) April 14, 2021
Perhaps the NFL’s concessions will prompt players to decide to come back this spring. Also, if there is a large boycott, expect some players to attend to OTAs anyway. The likely candidates are players with workout bonuses (the OTAs are voluntary) and players on the roster bubble.
Expect more developments in this major story.