A look at the trend of players from different teams getting together to prepare for training camp
We’re still about two weeks away from training camps kicking off in earnest. That means right about now, a good chunk of (mostly offensive) players are starting to get together at off-site locations to work outside the bounds of the CBA, as has become customary around the league in recent years. Those are the outings we know about: receivers working on their timing with their quarterback, usually at some locale that’s been funded by the big-money signal-caller.
But I’ve noticed a new addition to the end of the NFL off-season calendar, one that’s been in the shadows for years but is starting to spread across the league. More and more, it seems, players from different teams are spending a portion of their summers training together. A few examples:
Cam Newton and Antonio Brown spent several days together at an unknown location. They chronicled their adventures—luxury rides to workouts, on-field throw-and-catch sessions and the regular ol’ weight room work—on each other’s Instagrams.
On Wednesday we got a glimpse of former Offensive Rookie of the Year running back Todd Gurley working out beside (possible) future Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley. Jalen Ramsey skipped OTAs (but came back for mandatory minicamp) to work with his dad and family in Nashville. Ramsey was working this week with Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward and Panthers cornerbacks Corn Elder and Rashaan Gaulden—among others—with a cameo from Jags coach Doug Marrone. And though it doesn’t necessarily fit the theme, let’s just throw in Julio Jones working out with Terrell Owens for good measure.
For some traditionalists, this could be considered heresy. But surely anyone hip enough to subscribe to this newsletter (or read this website version) doesn’t feel that way. There are several reasons for the perceived rise in opponents-turned-workout partners. Many guys have the same agents/publicity firms/apparel endorsers. And there are more opportunities than ever for these guys to meet and get to know each other away from the field, from Super Bowl week events to various player engagement programs. Whatever the reason(s), we’re getting more and more workout videos—the kind I chronicled a year ago.
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Life came at John Schnatter with extreme quickness this week. After it was reported he used the N-word on a conference call, he resigned his seat on the University of Louisville board and, Wednesday night, resigned his position as CEO of Papa John’s. You’ll recall Schnatter waded into the conversation on protests during the national anthem. So long to the former fixture of NFL commercial breaks.
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