In a typical NFL offseason, team workouts would begin near the current scheduled start date of April 19th.
Phase-two of the program would include a voluntary mini-camp, followed by a mini-camp for rookies, organized team activities and a mandatory minicamp in June.
On a recent conference call with the league, players association President JC Tretter argued for a completely virtual off-season program. Same as 2020.
Tretter is encouraging players to not show up when voluntary programs begin. Already, members of the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks are listening.
In experiencing an entirely virtual offseason program in 2020, veteran NFL players experienced the good life. Fewer bumps, bruises, aches, and pains. No trips to the hot tub…and then the cold tub. No taped ankles and so on.
The NFL is arguing for two-weeks virtual, then in-person the rest of the way. The players want pandemic adjusted rules to become the norm.
The NFL wants the beginning of the season to feature crisp, well-played football. The players care more about their bodies holding up for the entirety of the regular season than organized team activities and the pre-season.
Moreover, the players push-back reflects the league’s dragging of feet regarding COVID-19 protocols.
As Tretter so eloquently put it: The league doesn’t get to decide when the pandemic ends.