The NFL Players Association is investigating the Patriots for not allowing cornerback Malcolm Butler to participate in OTAs.
Head coach Bill Belichick held Butler out of practices because Butler accidentally missed his flight to New England. While OTAs are voluntary, Belichick is known for holding players accountable no matter what. Because of that, the Patriots may have violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, who cites Albert Breer:
Article 21, Section 5(a) of the CBA states: “No Club official may indicate to a player that the Club’s offseason workout program or classroom instruction is not voluntary (or that a player’s failure to participate in a workout program or classroom instruction will result in the player’s failure to make the Club or result in any other adverse consequences affecting his working conditions).”
As Florio points out, it would seem (at least from this angle) that Belichick deemed OTAs mandatory, and Butler should be punished as such. It seems silly, but again, Belichick takes nothing lightly.
We'll see how this plays out, but it really isn't a big deal.
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