- Covered Packers for Green Bay Press-Gazette from 1997-2013
- Two-time Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association
GREEN BAY, Wis. — While players from several NFL teams have decided to not to attend in-person, voluntary offseason workouts, the Green Bay Packers have told their players that the first month of spring team activities will be virtual, a source told ESPN Monday.
The Packers will re-consider in-person activities before Phase Two of the offseason program begins on May 17.
Phase One typically includes meetings along with strength and conditioning workouts. The Packers have among the largest group of players with offseason workout bonuses in the NFL. A total of 19 players have a combined more than $5 million at stake by participating in the majority of offseason sessions.
A source said the Packers players with workout bonuses will be credited for attendance by logging on virtually. Players also have per diems for attending.
“As of now, everyone for the per diem — just the guys who get paid the $275 a day — you will get credit for solely for being at the (virtual) meetings,” NFLPA president JC Tretter said Monday on a union conference call. “So for those guys, the first four weeks, that’s all you have to do is show up for your virtual meeting.
“For the workout bonus, that is a team-by-team decision on how they will grant those workout bonuses. I do not know for certain what Green Bay is doing, but some teams are allowing them to get credit just like the per diem for getting their virtual meetings done. Other teams are making them be at the facility in order to get credit for the workout bonuses. But our stance is the entire thing should be virtual.”
Among the Packers players with offseason workout bonuses, Za’Darius Smith ($750,000), David Bakhtiari ($700,000), Kenny Clark ($600,000), Aaron Rodgers ($500,000), Davante Adams ($500,000) and Adrian Amos ($500,000) have the biggest incentive to participate. Minnesota Vikings’ players became the latest group to announce, through the NFLPA, that they would “exercise our right to not attend, in-person voluntary workouts.” They became the 20th group of players from an NFL team to make that decision.
Packers’ players, as a collective group, have not issued any statements about offseason workout participations.
“If a player has money on the line — bonuses or de-escalators — we are never going to stand in the way of a player making a financial decision,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and ProFootballTalk previously reported that the Packers would start virtually.
ESPN Staff Writer Kevin Seifert contributed to this report.
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