In a normal year, NFL players would start reporting to team facilities this month for voluntary offseason workouts, but with the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, this is not a normal year, and as a result, Seahawks players put out a statement Tuesday saying they will not take part in any in-person voluntary workouts. Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers players also put out similar statements on Tuesday.
In a statement put out by the NFLPA, Seahawks players said, "The NFLPA has provided us with thorough research and information regarding our safety as players as we enter voluntary workouts this year, especially the benefits on our health and safety from a virtual offseason last year. After considering all the facts, we as a team have decided to make a decision that is uncomfortable but necessary. For the protection of everyone's safety, we the Seattle Seahawks are deciding to exercise our CBA rights to not participate in voluntary in-person workouts. While many states in this country are still seeing rising COVID-19 numbers, we believe that a virtual offseason is best for everyone's protection.
"Our hope is that we will see a positive shift in the COVID-19 data that will allow for a safe return for players when mandatory workouts are set to begin."
NFL offseason workouts consist of multiple phases from April to June, including organized team activities, which are voluntary, as well as a mandatory three-day minicamp in June. Last season teams had virtual workouts and meetings and did not get together in person until the start of training camp.
Last season, the Seahawks were the only team in the NFL to not have a COVID-19 case among players and coaches, but that doesn't mean the risk is over, and receiver Tyler Lockett, the team's NFLPA player representative, said players decided together that the safest move was to stay home for now and work out on their own.
"We did a great job (last year)," Lockett said. "We learned, we made mistakes because we had to learn how to adapt, but throughout all the adapting and all the stuff that took place, we ended up finding a way to be able to make it happen to where throughout the season, there were no COVID cases… Last year we did a virtual offseason, nobody expected it to happen, and it worked out perfectly fine."
You can view the full statement from Seahawks players here: