NFLPA President JC Tretter Calls for End of Minicamps and OTAs

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Browns center JC Tretter, who serves as the president of the National Football League Players Association, is pushing to eliminate offseason practices with minicamps and organized team activities to limit the wear and tear on players' bodies. 

The coronavirus pandemic took away the NFL offseason program this year as players and teams adapted to virtual meetings. 

Rather than players suffering more injuries, Tretter thinks players around the league can put a quality product on the field without the additional activities.

"There is no reason for us to ever return to the previous offseason program," Tretter said in an NFLPA newsletter. "Our collective level of play across the league has actually never been higher." 

Tretter pointed to a record-setting number of points through 16 weeks of play, lower penalty numbers and fewer missed tackles. 

While Tretter's citations are valid, NFL owners are unlikely to agree to a virtual offseason.

According to ESPN, the decrease in penalties could be attributed to the league instructing officials to throw fewer flags. To Tretter's point, however, coaches around the league have pushed for a reduced body of work during the offseason, going back to the 2011 collective bargaining agreement. 

Tretter believes another reduction of offseason work is coming, saying the NFL is the only major sports league with an offseason program. 

"The most physically demanding sport is the only league that brings their players back for extra practices outside of the season. The argument in favor of these offseason practices is based on the assumption that players need reps during OTAs to develop and learn while teams need the practices to gel. Yet, the lack of OTAs this year demonstrated that those theories aren't substantiated. New and first-year head coaches had success. Newly assembled teams had success. Rookies stepped in and played at a high level all across the league.

"... We do not need to be brought in during April-June to practice against each other–it's simply unnecessary."

Beyond Tretter's work to push for the reduction of offseason activities, he has been instrumental in the push to eliminate turf fields in stadiums and producing the league's COVID-19 protocols that included daily testing.