Most of the time, if you're getting upset about an NFL player skipping voluntary OTAs, you're doing life wrong.
But if you're a Redskins fan who's a bit puzzled by Montae Nicholson not showing up to the early sessions of Washington's offseason workouts, you have a right to be.
Nicholson wasn't in Ashburn on Monday, a practice that was open to the media. There's been no indication that he's reported to the 'Skins since, either (UPDATE: Here's a video proving he has since returned, which is an encouraging sign).
Now, this isn't a situation worth really freaking out about. Again, OTAs are voluntary, and it's totally possible Nicholson was working out somewhere else and feels that's how he'll be best prepared for 2019.
Still, though, assuming he had nothing else serious going on, it's a questionable choice by the defensive back. And, according to Jay Gruden, it was a questionable choice he made on his own.
"Correct," Gruden answered Monday when asked if Nicholson skipping was based on the 23-year-old's decision. Gruden said earlier in his presser that he was "not really surprised" by it.
Perhaps the coach is telling the truth and he wasn't surprised. You can bet he was definitely annoyed by it, however.
Nicholson isn't an established player like Trent Williams or Josh Norman, other guys who weren't there when the Burgundy and Gold started this phase of the NFL calendar. He's a third-year safety with 22 up-and-down games to his name.
Not only that, he's just a week or so removed from the news that December assault charges against him were dropped due to a lack of evidence. You'd think someone who just learned that would be eager to get in front of Gruden and his coaching staff and try to repair his image.
After all, much of the same coaching staff who preferred to keep Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the lineup over Nicholson, even as Clinton-Dix struggled following his arrival, remains in charge.
The starting spot opposite of Landon Collins is wide open, and of the options on the roster, Nicholson is the most talented. He also would fit nicely next to Collins, considering he's got the speed and ability in coverage when he's healthy and mentally right.
Speaking of Collins, he attended OTAs, despite the fact that he wasn't able to participate as he continues to rehab a shoulder injury. Yet there he was, involved and roaming the sidelines, encouraging his teammates and coaching up the younger DBs on various techniques and details.
One of those DBs Collins should've been coaching up is Nicholson, yet Nicholson was nowhere to be found. Plenty more reps await Nicholson over the coming months, but the fact that he wasn't there to claim the first helping of them is not the best way to start his path back into the starting lineup.
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