The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now the third NFL team to have their players announce that they will not participate in the voluntary offseason workouts. That news comes soon after the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks made similar decisions.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Bucs released a statement through the NFL Players Association (or NFLPA) saying they were standing up for players’ rights during an ongoing pandemic.
A statement from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers players. pic.twitter.com/SOa24L779P
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) April 13, 2021
Tampa Bay may be only the third team to make this move, but it won’t be the last. The NFLPA is encouraging all players to avoid attending offseason workouts. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and president J.C. Tretter, who is also the starting center for the Browns, issued the following statement:
Offseason programs are scheduled to begin Monday. JC Tretter told players on a call last week the NFL's last proposal was to have the first two weeks be virtual, then start in-person. The union wants everything prior to training camp to be virtual, including mandatory minicamp.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 13, 2021
Once veteran players got a taste of what it’s like without the grind of a normal offseason, it was always going to be difficult to get things back to normal. That especially holds true after another regular season game was added to the schedule, which is even more wear and tear on the body.
It will be interesting to see where things go from here. In many ways, this move will help veterans retain jobs and hurt young guys trying to earn them.
Do you agree with the players choosing to avoid voluntary offseason workouts?
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.