Many NFL players are worried about returning for voluntary offseason workouts in preparation for the 2021 NFL season. COVID-19 is still a topic of concern in the United States. Therefore, as of today, players from 20 NFL teams have released statements, per the NFL Players Association, saying they will not be attending the in-person voluntary offseason workouts.
The 20 of 32 NFL Teams Who Won’t Participate
The Denver Broncos players were the first team to release a statement on April 13. The Broncos compared the quality of play from the last offseason, which was virtual, to the quality of play in the 2020 NFL season.
“Despite having a completely virtual offseason last year, the quality of play across the NFL was better than ever by almost every measure,” the Broncos player’s statement on NFLPA said.
The statement concluded with Denver’s hope that every player gets all the facts. It’s important players make an informed decision about participating in these voluntary workouts.
A statement on behalf of the Denver Broncos players: pic.twitter.com/b7ZQZ1Z7PY
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) April 13, 2021
Following this, players from the Seahawks, Buccaneers, Lions, Patriots, Bears, Browns, Giants, Raiders, Steelers, Falcons, Chargers, Jets, Dolphins, Rams, 49ers, Saints, Ravens, Eagles and most recently the Vikings released similar statements.
DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA executive director, said players are using their voices to say no. He continued saying this is probably one of the few times coaches have heard players say no.
Coaches Still Expect Players at Workouts
Even with players expressing their right to not partake in these in-person workouts, coaches don’t seem to care. While it is voluntary, coaches still expect their players to show up to these workouts, Smith said.
Non-starter players will most likely attend these workouts to try and earn a spot on the roster. Other star players who know their spot on the team and roster is safe will most likely not participate and take the NFLPA’s recommendation to stay home. We will see if any of the other 12 NFL teams’ players follow suit with the majority.