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Raiders players will boycott OTA sessions

Las Vegas players join league trend to bow out of in-person voluntary workout program

Las Vegas Raiders Hold Practice In Park
Raiders working on their own
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The roster of the Las Vegas Raiders have decided as a group to stand behind the NFL Players Association and will boycott the upcoming in-person OTA season.

The Raiders’ players joined several other rosters in this decision. I’d expect that most, if not all, rosters around the NFL to come to this conclusion. The Raiders met as a team on this Wednesday and Thursday and voted on the matter.

The NFLPA urged players multiple times in the past week to boycott the in-person session because of the coronavirus pandemic. The NFLPA had been pushing for another virtual offseason since last year, when the entire offseason program was virtual.

Jon Gruden was among the coaches who said he hoped there would be in-person OTA sessions this season so this. This decision has to bother Gruden greatly, but surely he understands his players’ situation with the rest of the league.

On Tuesday, the NFL countered and shrunk its in-person portion for this spring. The virtual portion of the offseason is starting Monday around the league. At this point, players are expected to participate in that voluntary aspect of the offseason.

If this boycott sticks, there will be no in-person minicamps again.

As mentioned in the Raiders players’ statement, there is some wiggle room for players who have workout incentives built into their contracts.

But for the most part, the Raiders will be working out on their own again for the second straight year. If players are hurt away from the facility during this time, they will not get paid as part of their contract.

I don‘t think this story is over, but for now at least, we won’t see the Raiders together until training camp in late July.