The NFL offseason has been dominated by talk of the draft, sexual assault allegations, and franchise quarterbacks in the trading block.
But now the league is facing a major problem.
And the NFL is facing a player strike over one jaw dropping issue.
Players from eight teams – the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears – all announced they would not attend next month’s “voluntary” mini-camps citing fear stemming from the coronavirus.
These mini-camps are allegedly “voluntary,” but in reality they are mandatory as fringe players could lose a roster spot if they don’t show up and other players have bonuses built into their contract based on attendance.
The Athletic reported that this year’s minicamp was a combination of virtual meetings and on-field practices.
“The NFL’s offseason program ― sent to teams on Wednesday in a memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Athletic ― will include more than a month of virtual meetings, followed by five weeks of on-field work that will include 10 voluntary practices and a three-day mandatory minicamp,” The Athletic reported.
Many fans were wondering why players would skip mini-camp this year because of the coronavirus after playing all of last year during the pandemic and not having one game canceled.
Vaccines are widely available as well.
Some suspect the players are staging a miniature strike over the owners adding a 17th game to the schedule this season as was their right under the collective bargaining agreement.
49 percent of the players voted against the agreement in large part because of the 17th game and some football observers wonder if this is the players just airing their grievances over the extra game.
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.