Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are fixing their offseason workout mistake.
Offseason workouts have become blown well out of proportions in recent years, especially for the big-name players. As no player is bigger than Tom Brady, the Buccaneers had to be careful with the way they would handle this topic.
Optional workouts are precisely that; optional. Veterans across the league sit these training sessions out on a yearly basis, and it always leads to a massive media firestorm, but there is rarely fire to fit with the smoke.
Unfortunately, this offseason has seen the formation of a legitimate issue on this front.
While players don’t have to be at team facilities to practice, they do still have to train at a daily pace just to stay ready for the regular season to begin. There is barely any offseason for the players in the NFL that are constantly trying to grow and improve their games, so even if they aren’t at the team facility, they are still getting better.
The issue is that these players are only protected from injury if it occurs on a team field. If an injury occurs in most places, even if it is involved with football, the team has the right to cut the player and not pay them a penny. Ja’Wuan James is just the first major name of this offseason to get cut from an injury away from his team, and he probably won’t be the last.
As players are encouraged to stay away from these optional workouts, the risk associated with injury increases dramatically, and Tom Brady probably didn’t take this into account with his most recent workouts.
The Bucs aren’t new to training outside of their normal facilities. Especially during the last offseason when the team facilities were closed due to COVID-19, Brady and company made use of local high school fields to build some chemistry. This strategy worked then, but it isn’t smart or safe now.
Despite Bruce Arians offering the team facilities up for the veterans to use to mitigate the risk, Brady and several other players instead chose to practice just down the street. In fact, the facilities were shockingly close together based on the fact that a few miles separated players from millions of dollars and massive medical woes.
It makes sense that Brady wants to work with his guys outside of a structured team scenario, but there are better ways to do this that don’t put other players at risk.
The Buccaneers need everyone healthy for a push at the 2021 Super Bowl, and the decision by these players to return to team facilities as reported by Rick Stroud on Twitter was absolutely the right decision for player safety and development.
Sometimes, safety is the best move.
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