NFLPA president JC Tretter said Monday the union’s stance on boycotting voluntary organized team activities is about altering the league's offseason model, and not the pandemic.
"This is not a 2021 offseason issue," Tretter said on a conference call, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. "This will be an issue year after year."
Players from 21 clubs announced their intention to opt out of voluntary OTAs in a show of solidarity. Players returning from an injury or those with workout bonuses weren't asked to stay away from team facilities.
Tretter and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith have been vocal about their intention to eliminate all in-person workouts, including mandatory minicamp, similar to what the league did during the 2020 offseason.
NFL franchises are scheduled to hold in-person rookie minicamps over the first weeks of May. However, the union is recommending that first-year players stay home.
Smith also said the union will again negotiate the right for players to opt out of the 2021 season, a source told Pelissero. Dozens of players opted out of the 2020 campaign during the early stages of the pandemic.