NFL team, New England Patriots, have been docked two OTA sessions as the result of a violation of league protocols for offseason activities. Patriots announced Wednesday that Thursday’s scheduled OTA session would not be happening, nor would another OTA session scheduled for next week.
OTAs, or “Organized Team Activities” are essentially pre-training camp practices which allow for conditioning and drills between offenses and defenses including 7 on 7, 9 on 7, and 11 on 11 formations. Although the specifics of the violation have not been disclosed, OTA violations tend to come as the result of players engaging in contact or wearing pads during sessions. This includes no blocking or tackling of any sort. The NFLPA closely monitors OTA sessions during the offseason, in a bid to enforce rules set by the NFL’s CBA or “Collective Bargaining Agreement”.
This incident leaves the Patriots with 8 OTA sessions instead of the initially allotted 10 sessions; which may prove to be an impediment to a Patriots on the mend since the departure of Hall-of-Fame quarterback, Tom Brady, in 2020. With the result of Bill O’Brien as offensive coordinator (after serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in the 2010s), enthusiasm for a return to playoff contention is on the minds of players and fans alike.
Violations of OTA rules are far from uncommon. Last season, the Cowboys, Commanders, Bears and Texans all faced penalties for violating the rules and regulations of OTA sessions; with the Cowboys also taking a hit in the form of Coach Mike McCarthy being fined $100,000 dollars.
The Patriots will hold their mandatory three day mini-camp, starting on June 12th.