The NFL Players Association does not want players attending in-person workouts this offseason. On Tuesday, the NFLPA reiterated its stance in a memo to players.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Media, the memo recommended players do not attend in-person workouts while repeating its belief that all workouts should be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and president JC Tretter sent out the memo with their thoughts.
“We have been in regular contact with the NFL on negotiations over a virtual offseason,” the memo reads. “As we have shared with your Executive Committee and Board, it is clear that neither side wants to move off their respective position. As we have made clear throughout bargaining: The COVID status in the country is as perilous as it was at this point last year; a number of players recently tested positive at team facilities. COVID weekly positive rates are as high, if not higher than, at this point last offseason; and NFL players who contracted COVID last season can become infected again.
“We believe that having the same offseason rules as last year is in the best interest of . . . the players and gives us the best chance of completing a full NFL season in 2021. As you know, other than minicamps, all offseason workouts are completely voluntary despite some of the language used by the clubs in recent days. And, while the CBA allows the teams to host mandatory minicamps, we believe the league should make them virtual just like last season.
“It is the recommendation of the NFLPA based on our medical experts’ advice that if the voluntary offseason program is in person, players should not attend. Therefore, as teams host calls to discuss these issues we urge that all players consider their own health and safety, make a personal decision about attending voluntary workouts and take into consideration the unanimous recommendation of the NFLPA COVID committee that we have an entirely virtual offseason.”
Offseason workouts are scheduled to begin on Monday, so it will be interesting to see what stance players take moving forward as they prepare for the upcoming season.