BOSTON (CBS) — A movement is afoot in the NFL, as the players for the Broncos, Buccaneers and Seahawks — at the urging of the NFLPA — have chosen to not participate in their organized team activities (OTAs) this spring.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting America, the players’ union has made this push to players to demand an all-virtual offseason, thus requiring the skipping of the OTAs — which are technically “optional” offseason team workouts but have become quasi-mandatory around the league for some time.READ MORE: Walker Scores 32 In Return From Injury, Celtics Rout Magic
Patriots players have yet to come together to make a decision for their OTAs, which are scheduled for next week. But there is one public comment from a player that indicates Bill Belichick has a lot of influence for such matters.
Special teamer Brandon King recently spoke to the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, who shared the following comment from King: “If Bill tells me to report, I’m reporting.”
Patriots players and many around the league have a tough choice. NFLPA tells them today not to attend voluntary OTAs. Belichick told them last week to report to Foxborough on April 19.
Special teamer Brandon King said yesterday: "If Bill tells me to report, I’m reporting."READ MORE: CBS Sports Ranks Patriots As Having Best Draft In Entire NFL
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) April 13, 2021
King is entering his sixth year with the Patriots, after signing with New England as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He’s taken roughly 60 percent of the team’s special teams snaps during his career, including a career-high 67 percent in the Super Bowl-wining season of 2016. He missed all of the 2019 and 2020 seasons due to injury, after suffering a torn quad in the 2019 preseason.
He is, of course, just one player, and teams are sure to have disagreements with regard to the decision on OTAs. But for now, the lone on-the-record comment on the matter can be succinctly summed up to say that for a lot of players, Belichick’s call will hold a whole lot of influence.MORE NEWS: Patriots Sign Undrafted Kicker Quinn Nordin
Update: Patriots players released a statement through the NFLPA on Wednesday, stating that “many” players will not be attending OTAs.