Steelers Players Announce They Will Opt Out of Voluntary Offseason WorkoutsApril 16, 2021
Pittsburgh Steelers players announced Friday they will not take part in voluntary in-person workouts this offseason.
They released a statement through the NFL Players Association:
The players cited a "lack of clear protocols and protections" amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for their decision.
The Steelers joined several teams that have opted out of in-person voluntary workouts. Since Tuesday, the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and Las Vegas Raiders have released similar statements.
Last offseason, workouts were held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL also eliminated the preseason schedule and gave teams a truncated in-person training camp.
In 2021, teams are scheduled to play three preseason games apiece and a 17-game regular season for the first time.
The NFLPA has recommended that teams not work out in person at team facilities because of COVID-19 concerns, but the association reportedly won't push all teams to follow suit.
According to ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio, the NFLPA will not pressure teams to boycott the voluntary offseason program if they have a significant number of players set to receive workout bonuses.
Teams in that situation include the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs, per Florio.
All four franchises are slated to pay out at least $3 million in workout bonuses.
The Steelers went 12-4 in 2020 and won the AFC North. However, they lost five of their final six games, including the postseason, where they lost to the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card Round.