The Raiders were stripped of two days (12 hours, four on-field) of organized team activities (OTA’s) for violating off-season workout rules.
No reason was given for the forfeiture of the days by the NFL or NFLPA.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement outlines these rules for OTA’s.
- Max 14 days
- No weekends
- Totally Voluntary (can’t threaten to cut a player for not showing up).
- Max 4 days a week
- No live contact (bump and run, tackling, pass rushing drills)
- No offensive vs. defensive line drills
- Six total hours per day max
- Two hours on-field work max
- “The intensity and tempo of the drills should be at a level conducive to learning, with player safety as the highest priority, and not as a level where one player is in a physical contest with another player.”
There are also rules governing workouts that are not a part of OTA’s. It is doubtful these were the rules violated that resulted in the penalty, but they may be applicable.
- Four total hours a day max
- 90 minutes max on-field
- 2 hours max suggested facility hours
- The other 2 hours weight lifting at player’s option when weight room is open.
How much of a loss is 12 hours of instruction at OTA’s?
Not much. There is a reason few teams make a huge deal of it and why it is worth the risk to practice in the gray area.
Teams don’t want to give up these days, but they are will to risk them to see things they otherwise wouldn’t know. Such as if Walter McFadden can play bump and run or if Lamarr Houston can bull rush.
Training camp is much longer, there is live contact, and is where jobs are won and lost. If a team can replicate some contact in OTA’s, they benefit.
The mystery is why the complaints are filed on some teams and not others. It is obvious to everyone that most NFL teams push the line on the no live contact rules.