Many NFL teams have made a big decision these days, and the New England Patriots are making a move regarding the voluntary OTAs. According to recent reports, many Patriots players will join the union-supported movement across the league and plan to boycott the optional organized team activities.
The NFLPA released a statement from Pats players yesterday:
“In solidarity with other players across the NFL and in the interest of our health and safety, many of us at the New England Patriots will be exercising our right to not attend voluntary workouts this offseason. The NFL has yet to agree to the full details of a plan for players despite the fact we are a few short days away from the start of voluntary workouts. The threat of COVID-19 is still serious in our community and across the country, and we think it is safer for everyone if we choose to work out on our own. While we understand that some players will need to go for various reasons and some safety measures have been put in place, we also know that NFL players have a choice which our union bargained for.
“We saw the health and safety benefits that a fully virtual offseason had on our fellow players last year. As experienced professionals who love the game, we know how to prepare our minds and bodies for an NFL season and look forward to working hard in pursuit of a Super Bowl this upcoming season.”
Patriots players to skip voluntary OTAs
The coronavirus is still here and players across the NFL have questions about their health and the health of their loved ones. A great number of players decided to opt out of the 2020 NFL season due to health concerns related to COVID-19. New England lost a lot of players due to these opt-outs. Some of the players will return for the 2021 NFL season.
Several analysts have criticized the decision to boycott voluntary OTAs. However, players on the Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, and Denver Broncos have decided to skip these activities. Earlier in April, the NFLPA urged football players to boycott voluntary OTAs. It looks like their plan worked.
OTAs are considered “voluntary” in the league. Well, these activities became mandatory over the years.
NFLPA President J.C. Tretter urged the players’ union to skip voluntary activities this spring. Cleveland.com reported that the union tries to “avoid COVID-19 tests and quarantining during OTAs.” They also crave the freedom to move and travel without any restrictions. Staying healthy is a priority now.
The Boston Globe reported that 14 Patriots players have been practicing at Gillette Stadium. They had their workouts and rehab in the offseason. Many Patriots players may skip this spring’s OTAs, but those who work out or rehab can return to the stadium if they want to continue with the treatment.