The NFL issued a warning to Jaguars executive vice president Tom Coughlin in response to the comments he made last week, questioning some of his players’ attendance at voluntary workouts.
According to ESPN, which cited unidentified sources, Coughlin isn’t facing any discipline for his comments but the league warned him that he could be fined or lose OTA practice days if his comments continue. The NFL’s warning letter came in response to the NFL Players Association asking the league to reach out to the Jaguars and remind the franchise that it can’t pressure players to attend voluntary workouts.
The reported warning comes after Coughlin said (per ESPN): “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.”
Coughlin seemingly called out cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith, without identifying them by name, as multiple reports indicated they were the only two players missing from voluntary workouts.
Coughlin’s comments prompted a response from both Ramsey and his agent, David Mulugheta. Ramsey didn’t participate in voluntary workouts last year as he stayed in Tennessee to train at his father’s training facility, which is what he’s doing again this year, ESPN notes.
“To be clear, Jalen Ramsey is exactly where Jalen should be during his offseason,” Mulugheta wrote on Twitter. “He’s spending time with his young daughter & family while training in his hometown of Nashville. In addition the Jags are fully aware of why he is not taking part in the voluntary offseason program.”
Ramsey also wrote on Twitter: ‘”Fully aware’ & ‘voluntary’ meaning I don’t HAVE to be there BUT they know the EXACT REASONS I am not. My teammates know it’s ALL love & know I’ll be ready when it’s time!”
It also garnered a response from NFLPA president Eric Winston, who said in a statement: “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.
“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.”