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NFL formally warns Jaguars- Coughlin about “voluntary” workouts

Florida Football Insiders

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Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, on Wednesday the NFL made it clear to Jaguars VP of Football Tom Coughlin that when it comes to workouts in the off season, “voluntary” definitely means voluntary.

ESPN NFL reporter Dan Graziano had the details on the league sending an official letter to Jaguars headquarters:

This came on the heels of Coughlin’s comments last week regarding the absences of defensive back Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith from the Jaguars “voluntary” workouts. Coughlin answered a question Thursday about Jags star defenders not attending the team’s voluntary workouts. His message through the media was, “they should all be here.”

NFLPA president Eric Winston had made it abundantly clear through a statement shortly after Coughlin’s comments, that the players had specifically gotten language into the CBA regarding, when and when they do not, have to be involved in team activities.

And, again, the key word is “voluntary.”

We wrote previously two years ago, as Coughlin first came back on board to run the Jaguars front office, about he and team violating NFLPA protocol on players being required to be at the team facility for physicals in advance of workouts that April.

As Graziano reported, the Jaguars are being threatened with possible fines and loss of formal workouts.

And, there have been other franchises, who were either having too much contact in off season workouts, where it was supposed to be minimal or like the off-season of 2016. That’s when the Seahawks were essentially holding an outright practice with contact that June, which is expressly forbidden.

In that instance, the NFL has penalized Seattle their fifth round pick in the 2017 draft, fined the team $400,000 and coach Pete Carroll $200,000. They also lost three of their “Organized Team Activities” or OTA’s for the 2017 off season, as well. It was their third such violation of the policies during Carroll’s tenure.

The bottom line is that the Jaguars, having been warned twice in the last three years, will now have to be aware that significant fines and action could be coming, even for comments.

Super Bowl winning former “old school” coaches, included.

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