Report: NFL reminds Jaguars about league workout rules

Field Level Media

April 24, 2019 at 6:14 pm.

The NFL wants Tom Coughlin and the Jaguars to remember that voluntary workouts are just that: voluntary.

The league sent a letter to Coughlin, warning Jacksonville’s executive vice president of football operations that future comments like the ones he made last week critical of players who didn’t attend voluntary offseason workouts could result in league discipline, ESPN reported Wednesday.

The discipline could include a fine or loss of practice days.

The NFL Players Association had asked the league to remind the Jaguars that players should not be pressured to attend the workouts, ESPN said.

With players in town for the start of the offseason program, the Jaguars held their annual state of the franchise address last Thursday. During his four-minute turn at the podium, Coughlin spoke about team attendance — or lack thereof.

“We’re very close to 100 percent attendance, and quite frankly, our players should be here building the concept of team, working hard side by side, constructing our bond of togetherness, formulating our collective priorities and goals,” said Coughlin, known as a strict disciplinarian, per ESPN. “Success in the NFL demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish and insensitive to the real values of team. The hard work that many try to avoid is the major building block for the development of an outstanding football team.

“It’s not about rights and privileges. It’s about obligations and responsibility, and the question is: Can we count on you?”

According to multiple reports, the specific players Coughlin was criticizing for not being in attendance were cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith.

NFLPA president Eric Winston issued a statement the following day in support of the players.

“Our CBA definition of voluntary is the same as the actual definition of voluntary and prohibits anyone from threatening players to participate in voluntary workouts,” Winston said. “This is precisely the reason players negotiated strict work rules and bright lines when it comes to offseason activities. We know, from experience, that not all coaches and executives will adhere to them and we always pursue any violations to protect our rules.”