The recent debate over the overworked offseason schedule is far from over. Multiple players on several teams have already put forth that they do not intend to take part in voluntary offseason workouts, especially amidst the pandemic. And now Tom Brady has gotten involved.
Per NFL.com, the voluntary portion of the NFL’s offseason schedule began with Phase 1 from April 19-May 14. Phase 2 runs from May 17-21 with on-field workouts. Phase 3 (May 24-June 18) consists of in-person meetings and teams are permitted to hold 10 days of organized team activities with no live contact permitted.
Multiple players have issued statements that they do not wish to participate in offseason workouts. 21 of the 32 teams have issued statements via the NFLPA announcing they won’t participate in any offseason workouts.
— Horseshoe Huddle: Indianapolis Colts on SI (@SI_Colts) May 7, 2021
Tom Brady urges players to have very intense negotiations about OTA’s
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady is arguably one of the most important people in the NFL. And he got on a call on Friday with the NFL players association delivering a passionate speech about the brutal offseason schedule.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Brady called for unity among players in what Brady believes should be “very intense negotiations” with coaches on modifying offseason work rules.
#Bucs QB Tom Brady joined an NFLPA call today and delivered an impassioned speech, imploring fellow players to stand united and have “very intense negotiations” with coaches on modifying offseason work rules as the union continues to push for a boycott, per sources.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 7, 2021
— theScore (@theScore) May 7, 2021
NFLPA has been consistent with the severity of the offseason schedule for players. Brady leaned on the all-virtual 2020 offseason as proof that players believe it isn’t necessary to bring them in for weeks of workouts and on-field sessions in late spring and early summer.
Advantages of a virtual offseason
NFLPA president J.C Tretter previously added that there were multiple advantages of a virtual offseas. He said that in the previous 5 seasons, an average of 247 concussions were reported, which fell multi-fold to 172. “If we’ve identified strategies for reducing concussions by 30% and it doesn’t involve modifying game rules, it would be reckless NOT to implement those changes,’’
“Over the past five years, the average number of missed-time injuries annually for all NFL teams was 3,524,” Tretter wrote in his column. “For the 2020 season, the number of missed time injuries decreased to 2,716.” A 23% decrease is huge for a sport that is so heavily based on physical contact.
ICYMI: Here’s some of the biggest takeaways from President @jctretter‘s latest column on injury data. Why what’s good for the players is good for the game: https://t.co/MKQUyt6t3z. pic.twitter.com/vEZJIvUK7Q
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) April 3, 2021
“Last year, [everything] had to be collectively bargained, and now we see what those changes brought us. There’s really no denying it anymore. One can avoid soft tissue injuries. You can avoid concussions. One can avoid heat-related illness. You can avoid those things by following the science.’’
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NFL canceled voluntary workouts and the Preseason. Teams reported to training camp in late July as they geared up for the 2020 NFL season. Tom Brady has always known to take extremely good care of his body. So if he adds to the debate, we could see some changes in the schedule.