Nothing major I guess...just found it interesting.
June 4, 2003
By Pete Prisco
SportsLine.com Senior Writer
St. Louis Rams veterans will be getting an early start to their summer break after it was determined the team violated league rules regarding offseason workouts, according to league sources.
The Rams will lose their remaining week of their offseason program, scheduled for next week, because one of their players reported the team to the NFL Players Association for violations of the offseason rules. That led to an investigation by the NFLPA and the NFL Management Council, which resulted in the loss of the week of work.
The on-field days, known at Organized Team Activity (OTA), have strict limitations that are governed by the league's collective-bargaining agreement with the players.
For starters, the offseason program is voluntary with the exception of one three-day minicamp (two for new coaches). Teams can have only 14 of the OTA days and coaches can keep players on the field no longer than 90 minutes. Players can wear helmets, but no pads. By comparison, training-camp practices can be as long as the coach wants and they can be fully padded for as many practices as the coach desires.
Players are allowed to be at the team's facility only four hours during the offseason. The team is permitted to specify times to a player for two of those hours. The other two hours are up to the player to decide.
According to the rules of the CBA, any potential violation would be investigated and a subsequent finding of a wrong would lead to a one-week cancellation of the offseason program. A second violation leads to the forfeiture of a fourth-round pick.
The NFLPA was put on notice by an unidentified Rams player who called the union to complain about some phases of the team's on-field workouts the past month. That led to the investigation.
St. Louis coach Mike Martz will now have to finish his team's offseason program for veterans this week, getting only 13 of the 14 weeks allowed by the CBA. The veterans won't report back until training camp opens in later July. The rookies will be around until the end of this month.
These OTA days have become a concern around the league among players as coaches push the limits -- and beyond -- in terms of what they are doing on the field. The NFLPA encourages its players to report violations, but players are sometimes reluctant to do so for fear of retribution.