NFLPA Wins Grievance over Jaguars Requiring Offseason Treatment at Team Facility

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2019

Jacksonville Jaguars helmets on the field during an NFL football practice, Friday, May 31, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

The NFL Players Association won its grievance against the Jacksonville Jaguars after the Jags instituted mandatory injury rehabilitation sessions at the team's facilities in the offseason and fined players who didn't attend.

An arbitrator found in favor of the NFLPA, which had argued that Jacksonville was in violation of the collective bargaining agreement, per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

The NFLPA has informed players that an arbitrator ruled in the union’s favor in a grievance against the #Jaguars over requiring injured players to rehab and see doctors at the team facility during the offseason. Full text of the NFLPA email below: https://t.co/lPLxWEej8J

The unnamed player in the NFLPA's email was defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., according to Mark Long of the Associated Press. 

Mark Long @APMarkLong

The unnamed player the Jaguars (Tom Coughlin) fined more than $700k in 2018 was Dante Fowler. The fines have now been rescinded after an arbitrator sided with the NFLPA.

Fowler was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in Oct. 2018.

The final paragraph of the NFLPA's email could raise some eyebrows around the NFL, namely among the players:

"The decision puts a stop to the blatant overreach by the Jaguars and emphasizes the voluntary nature of almost all football activities during the offseason. It should be noted that Jaguars players continue to be at odds with Jaguars management over their rights under the CBA far more than players on other clubs. In the last two years, more than 25 percent of the grievances filed by players in the entire league have been filed against the Jaguars. You as players may want to consider this when you have the chance to select your next club."

Pair that with Jalen Ramsey's falling out in Jacksonville this year—which eventually led to him also being traded to the Rams—and prospective free agents might think twice before considering the Jaguars. 

The natural speculation will be that the Tom Coughlin era in Jacksonville isn't working. Since hiring him in Jan. 2017 as executive vice president, the Jaguars have gone 20-26 and are just 5-9 this season. That record only looks worse when factoring in the fact that Jacksonville was 10-6 in 2017, reached the AFC Championship and looked like a team on the rise. 

Since that loss to Tom Brady and the Patriots, however, the team is just 10-20. And it certainly appears as though Coughlin's management style is causing a number of issues with the team's players, based on the NFLPA's email Monday.