Home News NFL Players Association proposal could eliminate spring football in NFL but of...

NFL Players Association proposal could eliminate spring football in NFL but of course there are issues

10
0

The NFL Players Association is working on a proposal to the league that would fundamentally change how and when the league’s teams prepare players for the coming season.

And that change could happen as early as next offseason if adopted by the league.

The players’ union is finalizing the proposal that would eliminate on-field work — such as is currently underway around the NFL — in the spring. Veteran players instead would begin their preparations for the season in earnest in June.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

So Spring Football would be eliminated in the NFL.

The End Of Spring Football?

Zach Wilson with Broncos

Denver Broncos quarterback Zach Wilson (4) during organized team activities at Centura Health Training Center.  (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

It would mean a training camp schedule that would seemingly begin in late June or early July and ramp up to regular-season games in September. Training camps currently begin around the last days of July. 

As it currently stands, the middle of June and early July are generally an inactive time around the NFL.

Under an early draft of the proposal, first reported on by NFL Media, virtual classroom work would still be permitted in the spring, but no practices would be allowed until training camp.

And why does the players union wish to mess with things as they currently are?

The NFLPA wants to find ways to give players a longer layoff between the end of the season and the return to football activities on the field. Clearing the spring of OTAs would obviously accomplish that, with the tradeoff being for a longer preparation period right before the start of the regular season.

But the new proposal may come with some holes and even unintended consequences.

More Consecutive Rest For Veterans

Aaron Rodgers runs

Aaron Rodgers #8 of the New York Jets jogs during the New York Jets OTA Offseason Workout at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on May 21, 2024 in Florham Park, New Jersey.  (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The proposal in the abstract seems to be a positive for veteran players, but what about rookies? Every year, between 300-400 rookies join clubs with hopes of making rosters and their NFL dreams come true.

But to accomplish that, those rookies need to learn how to be professionals, learn the schedule of a daily training camp, learn the culture of their new team and, of course, learn the playbook.

Learning the playbook, multiple coaches told OutKick on Tuesday morning, is not just about memorizing plays. It’s also about getting on the field and seeing how the play unfolds. It’s about experiencing how the defense might react. And it’s about getting coaching and tips in real time on how to make what is on a tablet come to life on the field. 

These lessons currently begin in May for most rookies and continue through veteran minicamps in early June. 

NFL LEGEND PEYTON MANNING THROWS COLD WATER ON IDEA HE WANTS TO OWN, RUN FRANCHISE

Rookies Will Be Behind

Caleb Williams OTAs

Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron of the Chicago Bears talks with Caleb Williams #18 during Chicago Bears Rookie Minicamp at Halas Hall on May 10, 2024 in Lake Forest, Illinois.   (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

But if OTAs are moved to mid-June to become a part of an extended training camp, the rookies are going to be at a distinct disadvantage.

So how might that affect the on-field product? 

Would marginal college players and other veterans be more inclined to play in Spring Leagues to gain experience and improve their games? Would those leagues become more popular without the NFL casting such a big shadow in the spring?

And would a player such as C.J. Stroud, who burst onto the NFL scene last year in his rookie season, still be prepared enough to perform at such a high level his first year when his on-field preparation over a longer period of time is eliminated?

There is also the question of how the new proposal would affect the dozen or more teams that routinely change coaches every year. 

NFL head coaches get fired and new ones get hired every single year. And those new head coaches bring in new staffs with new ideas.

Those ideas are currently first introduced to the team in the spring. And on-field work to learn the new playbooks is now begun in the spring. By the time training camp starts, players typically have a foundation for what the new playbook and new coaching staff is about.

Would the new proposal clearing all that out of the way in the spring and leaving the on-field work for mid-June or July put those teams at a competitive disadvantage?

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

New Coaches At A Disadvantage

Jerod Mayo talks

New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo, right, speaks during his introductory press conference with owner Robert Kraft at Gillette Stadium.  (Boston Globe via Getty Images)

This, by the way, wouldn’t only affect teams with new head coaches. Every year, a number of teams change their offensive or defensive coordinators and install new systems on either side of the ball.

So even when the head coach is the same, the playbook can change for a number of teams. 

This season, for example, 24 teams have new head coaches, or new offensive or defensive coordinators.

Are those teams going to be at a bigger disadvantage implementing their new schemes and approaches because they have to wait until mid-June to start getting players on the field?

The current offseason workout program is a voluntary nine-week program that includes three phases. The first phase is all meetings. The second and third phase include on-field work and even a mandatory minicamp for all players.

Those second and third phases would obviously move to June, leaving veterans more time to recover from the previous season during the months of March to June. 

But the break also would potentially leave some rookies and teams with new coaches with a lot of catching up to do in June.

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X, and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here