The Broncos have decided as a team to skip the upcoming voluntary OTAs as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
The NFL is seeking a return to normal in 2021. That means getting players back into facilities on a less restrictive basis and packing stadiums once again.
However, players are still not entirely comfortable returning as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on. The Denver Broncos have even decided to skip voluntary OTAs as a team. They released a statement through the NFLPA on Tuesday.
A statement on behalf of the Denver Broncos players: pic.twitter.com/b7ZQZ1Z7PY
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) April 13, 2021
Broncos decide to skip voluntary OTAs
Ultimately, the players are skipping voluntary workouts. Coaches can be mad, but you cannot mandate attendance at something that is voluntary.
The main argument from the Broncos and the entire NFLPA is that a virtual offseason in 2020 did not derail the season. The competition was still high and there is no need to force players to all congregate during a pandemic when 2020 provided proof that the Zoom option could work.
Now fans will wait and see if other teams follow, or if perhaps the entire league follows suit. Not having large gatherings is still smart and avoids any unnecessary COVID transmission at a time when vaccinations are still taking time to be administered in certain states.
The Broncos have every right to skip these workouts. The goal now should be to work with the coaching staff to get back into a virtual setting like they did a year ago.
One unfortunate thing here is that some players have bonuses tied to workouts. That is a whole other issue that must be figured out by the NFLPA. For now, the focus is on keeping players safe and trying to continue a virtual offseason program that worked well in 2020.