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Patriots Lose Two OTA Sessions After Violating NFL Offseason Rules, Per Report

The New England Patriots have been docked two days of organized team activities after it was found the organization violated offseason rules, according to ESPN

The Patriots were scheduled to have an OTA on Thursday, but the team announced earlier on Wednesday that the session had been canceled. Instead of that merely being the call of head coach Bill Belichick, it has since been reported that Thursday’s OTA along with another that was scheduled for next week are the two that have been taken away by the NFL

The specific violation that led to the league stripping two OTAs from New England, according to Pro Football Talk, centered around a 15-minute special teams meeting. The NFL Players Association believed one fo the option early offseason meetings was a violation because it was made visible on the internal schedule. By placing it on the formal schedule, that was deemed to fall under the “mandatory” category instead of it being optional in the eyes of the NFLPA. 

The team was in the midst of the third phase of the offseason program, which allows for up to 10 OTAs. Contact nor pads are allowed during this portion of the offseason program, per the CBA. That includes no blocking, tackling, etc. This latest report from Pro Football Talk notes that this violation had nothing to do with practice field activities. 

The Patriots are no strangers to finding themselves in the crosshairs of the NFL under Belichick. In the past, the franchise was famously punished for more serious infractions like Deflategate and Spygate. This situation, however, doesn’t rise to that level of fever and is a bit more commonplace around the league. Last offseason, the CowboysBearsCommanders and Texans were all penalized for violations of offseason rules. Meanwhile, the Cowboys (again), 49ers, and Jaguars were penalized in 2021. 

The Patriots are scheduled to hold its three-day mandatory minicamp beginning on June 12. 

Source: CBS Sport