Tom Brady urging players to push for modified workouts?
Tom Brady is making his voice heard in the ongoing spat between the NFL and NFLPA over offseason workouts. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady is making his voice heard in the ongoing spat between the NFL and NFLPA over offseason workouts.

Tensions have escalated between the league and players’ union in recent days stemming from the NFL's desire to have players attend voluntary offseason workouts. The union had been urging players to stay away. The debate intensified in recent days after Broncos offensive lineman Ja’Wuan James suffered a potentially season-ending Achilles tear during an off-site workout, giving Denver the option to not pay his salary in 2020. The NFLPA is exerting pressure on the Broncos to pay James what it feels he’s owed.

Brady joined an open NFLPA call on Friday to weigh in on the workout issue. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Brady urged his fellow players to engage in “very intense negotiations” to modify offseason workout rules and make them less intensive. Brady cited the fact that the NFL is the only professional league with “very competitive” offseason workouts, and last summer’s pandemic-enforced remote work demonstrated that they aren’t necessary.

Like many veteran players with secure jobs, Brady hasn’t taken part in voluntary OTAs for several years. The story is different for younger players and others without guaranteed roles or roster spots, who can use these workouts to make a good impression on coaches and bolster their chances of earning a roster spot or a larger role. Brady’s coach has suggested the push to eliminate the workouts is partly driven by veteran players trying to protect their jobs.

Brady obviously isn’t in any danger of losing his quarterback job, so he’s probably being genuine here. That said, there are plenty of younger players with less secure roles who might not agree with his stance.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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