The NFL today notified the Seattle Seahawks of the discipline being imposed for violating NFL-NFLPA work rules that prohibit excessive contact in all offseason workouts.
During the team’s June 6, 2016 Organized Team Activity (OTA) day, players engaged in excessive on-field physical contact, which is expressly prohibited in all offseason workouts under the NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. The prohibition is one of several measures the NFL and NFLPA implemented to enhance player safety by limiting contact during offseason workout programs. The rules also help to prevent any team from gaining a competitive advantage.
As a result of this violation, the club will be fined $400,000 and will forfeit its first week of 2017 OTAs (three OTA days). Seahawks’ players will be paid for the cancelled sessions. Head Coach Pete Carroll, who is responsible for maintaining appropriate control over practices and intervening if prohibited conduct occurs, will be fined $200,000. Finally, as a result of the Seahawks’ prior violations of these same OTA rules, the club will forfeit its fifth-round selection in the 2017 Draft.
In the letter notifying the club of the discipline, the NFL referenced Appendix G of the CBA which underscores the importance of player safety and the purpose of the “no-live-contact” rule:
Voluntary off-season workout programs are intended to provide training, teaching and physical conditioning for players. The intensity and tempo of drills should be at a level conducive to learning, with player safety as the highest priority, and not at a level where one player is in a physical contest with another player.
The decision to impose discipline was made after the NFL and NFLPA independently reviewed the Seahawks’ June 6, 2016 on-field practice video and agreed that the club had violated the “no-live-contact” rule, as set forth in Article 21, Section 2(b)(iii), Section 5(a) and Appendix G of the CBA.
The Seahawks were also advised that any additional violation of the CBA’s player work rules, or any violation affecting the competitive aspects of the game, will likely result in significantly higher fines, the cancellation of future OTA days, minicamp days, preseason or regular season practices, as well as the forfeiture of higher-round or multiple draft selections.
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