Cleveland Browns Are Latest Team To Opt-Out Of In-Person Workouts
The Cleveland Browns are the latest team to join other NFL teams in opting out of voluntary in-person offseason workouts.
Browns players made the official decision after guidance and advice from Cleveland center and NFL Players Association President JC Tretter. Cleveland players are the latest in a growing list of teams opting out from in-person offseason workouts.
On Wednesday, the league sent a memo to all teams announcing that the first four weeks of the voluntary program will be virtual before transitioning to in-person at each team’s respective training facilities.
Cleveland released a statement through the NFLPA. “The NFL’s memo outlining how they plan to implement voluntary workouts falls short of what we as players believe is adequate,” the statement said. “The Cleveland Browns players agree that a virtual offseason like we had last year, is the best decision for everyone in our league.”
A statement from the Cleveland Browns players: pic.twitter.com/VI71lJXWeA
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) April 15, 2021
“COVID-19 continues to affect our players, our families, and our communities, and we must continue to take it seriously. In addition to the ongoing threat of the pandemic, we felt healthier both mentally and physically last year, which we attribute to sufficient recovery time and the lack of additional wear and tear on our bodies during the spring months. The league-wide injury data supports us as well, as NFL players experienced a 23% reduction in missed-time injuries last season.”
“For these reasons, we stand in solidarity with players from other clubs by exercising our CBA right to not attend in-person voluntary workouts this offseason. We are professionals who train year-round, wherever we spend our offseason. As we proved last year, we will be ready to compete this upcoming season.”
Last season, the league conducted offseason programs virtually and pushed back training camp due to coronavirus.
The Browns are the latest team to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Las Vegas Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons in using their collective bargaining rights to not participate in workouts. The list of teams is expected to increase.
Although Browns coach Kevin Stefanski didn’t have an in-person offseason program in his first year as Cleveland’s coach, he was incredibly successful, leading the Browns to their first postseason since the 2002 season. The Browns even upset the Steelers in the Wild Card round before losing to the Chiefs. Cleveland will look to build on their 2020 success in 2021.