The New York Giants are the latest in a group of growing teams who have players planning to skip attending the in-person part of the league-wide voluntary off-season workout program that is to begin next week.
The NFLPA released a statement on behalf of the Giants players, which read as follows:
Our team is a strong, unified brotherhood of professionals who love the game of football and work year-round to perfect our craft. We also have to make the best decisions to protect our health and safety, which is why players on our team are exercising our CBA right not to attend in-person voluntary workouts. We stand in solidarity with players across our league who are making informed decisions with the help of our union, both in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and what the data shows about the benefits to our overall health and safety."
The wording of the announcement varies from that of the announcement released on behalf of the Denver Broncos, which in part read, "With offseason programs starting in less than a week and without adequate protocols in place in order for us players to return safely, we will be exercising our right to not participate in voluntary offseason workouts."
The Giants announcement leaves the door open to the possibility of where some players might exercise their option to show up at the facility.
The decision to boycott any in-person attendance is over on-going COVID-19 concerns. The NFLPA has been pushing for the league to adopt a complete virtual format similar to what was in effect last off-season, but earlier this week, the league went ahead without the union's consent and announced a modified off-season program that allowed for part of the program to be done virtually and part to be done on-site.
The NFLPA has also released similar statements on behalf of players on other teams, including Denver, Cleveland, Chicago, New England, Detroit, Tampa Bay, and Seattle.
Of interest will be how the teams whose players have released statements via the union will be paid for any performance bonuses included in their contracts. Last year, the Giants players received their full workout bonuses since the league-mandated the shutdown of facilities.
If the players do not collect their workout bonuses, that money gets credited back to the salary cap.
It is also unclear how the Giants will handle any potential fines related to players who decline to attend the mandatory minicamp part of the revamped off-season program.