Brady, Rodgers headline list of NFL players skipping OTAs

Jun 1, 2022, 2:32 AM | Updated: 2:46 pm

Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray (1) participates during the team's NFL football practice, Wednesday...

Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray (1) participates during the team's NFL football practice, Wednesday, June 1, 2022, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady earned the right to skip voluntary workouts a long time ago. Several other star players, including Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson, also aren’t participating in organized team activities, a trend that’s increasing around the NFL.

In Brady’s case, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are thrilled the seven-time Super Bowl champion is playing another season after a brief retirement in February.

“Tom’s a worker. Tom comes in on his own. He doesn’t need to be here,” Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles said about Brady’s absence. “But, you don’t play that long without having inner drive. We have great communication and we have a great relationship. He comes in on his own and works. He doesn’t need the work everyone else needs, but the camaraderie, when he comes in here, is very good.”

While their teams were on the field, Rodgers and Brady were involved in another competition Wednesday, taking on fellow quarterbacks Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes in “The Match” golf exhibition in Las Vegas.

Rodgers skipped all the OTAs and Green Bay’s minicamp last year during a standoff with team management but won his second straight NFL MVP award and signed a $150 million contract in the offseason. He lost his All-Pro receiver when the Packers traded away Davante Adams and it would seem he’d benefit from additional work with new receivers.

“Yeah, each guy has that right to make that choice,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said about Rodgers and several teammates, including wide receivers Allen Lazard and Sammy Watkins, missing OTAs.

“If you’re asking me, I want everybody here. So, I think some of the thought process may have changed over what’s transpired over the last two years, especially with our COVID situation where we didn’t have OTAs, and then, but my thing to our guys is, well neither did anybody else. So everybody was playing, had the same circumstances that they were dealing with. So, obviously now, with everybody being open and you’d like to see as many guys as possible here.”

The pandemic forced teams to hold virtual workouts during the 2020 offseason and the NFL Players’ Association advised players to skip modified OTAs last year. The union, in general, wants to decrease the amount of OTAs, but that will have to be negotiated in the next collective bargaining agreement.

Brady, who turns 45 in August, began skipping OTAs in New England in 2018 so he could spend more time with his family. Other players are staying home for business reasons.

Kyler Murray missed some of Arizona’s voluntary sessions while he still waits for a new contract but returned this week. Teammate DeAndre Hopkins is suspended for the first six games of the season so he’s not participating.

Jackson also has an unsettled contract situation and has been absent but indicated on Twitter last week that he plans to show up at some point.

“Our job as coaches is to develop everybody to their fullest, and when they’re here we can do that,” Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. “That’s what we’re focused on right now. I’m sure Lamar is working hard.”

More than 20 teams are holding OTA sessions next week and mandatory minicamp the following while several wrap up next week. The Bengals and Eagles opted to eliminate mandatory camps.

“We are transitioning away a little bit more from 11-on-11s this year,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said. “We have two weeks of OTAs and look forward to getting a lot of good work done with our individual, where we can work on our fundamentals. Then we’ll be doing 7-on-7 because it helps our skill guys and quarterback in making the read and different looks he’s going to get.”

A list of the most notable OTA absences around the league:

Rams DT Aaron Donald and CB Jalen Ramsey; Titans RB Derrick Henry; 49ers WR Deebo Samuel, DE Nick Bosa and LT Trent Williams; Chargers RB Austin Ekeler; Browns DE Jadeveon Clowney and LG Joel Bitonio; Saints WR Jarvis Landry, RB Alvin Kamara and LB Demario Davis; Patriots LB Matt Judon; Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson and CB Casey Hayward; Bengals S Jessie Bates III; Chiefs LT Orlando Brown Jr.; Bills S Jordan Poyer and S Micah Hyde; Broncos RB Melvin Gordon III; Commanders WR Terry McLaurin.


More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://apnews.com/hub/pro-32 and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Brady, Rodgers headline list of NFL players skipping OTAs