Are NFL OTAs Mandatory?

The NFL offseason is in full swing and teams are hard at work preparing for the upcoming season. One key part of this preparation is attending OTAs (Organized Team Activities). But are these activities actually mandatory? Let’s take a closer look.


The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world.

Organized team activities, or OTAs, are voluntary workouts that take place during the offseason. Though they are not mandatory, they are often highly encouraged by coaches and team management. OTAs help players stay sharp and in shape during the long break between the end of one season and the start of another. They also provide an opportunity for new players to gel with their teammates and learn the playbook before training camp begins.

What are OTAs?

Organized team activities, or OTAs, are voluntary offseason workouts that players can attend. These workouts consist of weightlifting, meeting time, film study and on-field work under the direction of coaches.

Are NFL OTAs Mandatory?

Currently, NFL OTAs are voluntary. However, there is a growing push for the league to make them mandatory. The main argument for making OTAs mandatory is that it would create a level playing field for all teams. For example, some teams may have more talented rosters than others, but if all teams are required to participate in OTAs, then it gives everyone an equal opportunity to prepare for the season.

Another argument for making OTAs mandatory is that it would help prevent player injuries. Currently, there are often players who skip OTAs because they don’t want to risk getting injured. However, if OTAs were mandatory, then players would be more likely to take part in these activities and avoid getting hurt.

The arguments against making OTAs mandatory are that it would take away from player’s free time, and that it could lead to more injuries. Players who skip OTAs often do so because they want to spend time with their families or they want to rest their bodies after a long season. If OTAs were mandatory, then players would have less free time and could potentially be more likely to get injured because they would be participating in more activities.

Ultimately, whether or not NFL OTAs should be mandatory is up for debate. There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument.

What Happens if You Don’t Attend OTAs?

If you’re a professional football player, chances are you’ve been asked to report to organized team activities, or OTAs. These optional workouts are held during the offseason and typically last about three weeks. While OTAs are technically voluntary, there can be some serious consequences for players who choose not to attend.

If you don’t show up to OTAs, the team can fine you. In 2016, the NFL instituted a new policy that allows teams to fine players up to $88,650 for skipping all of their OTAs. The amount of the fine increases if a player skips additional workouts. For example, a player who misses one mandatory minicamp workout can be fined $14,870.

In addition to being fined, failing to attend OTAs can also have an impact on your place on the team’s depth chart. While it’s unlikely that a star player will lose their starting spot because they skipped OTAs, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. These workouts give coaches an opportunity to see how new players mesh with the team and how they perform in various schemes. If you’re not there, it’s possible that another player could leapfrog you on the depth chart.

Of course, there are some conditions under which players are excused from attending OTAs. If you’re recovering from an injury or if you have personal circumstances that prevent you from participating, the team will understand. In these cases, it’s usually best to talk to your coach or head of personnel beforehand so they know what to expect.

Overall, while attendance at OTAs is technically voluntary, there can be some serious consequences for players who choose not to participate. From financial penalties to depth chart demotions, skipping OTAs can have a significant impact on your career as a professional football player.


In short, NFL OTAs are not mandatory. Players can choose to participate or not participate. However, if a player has attendance issues or skips out on workouts, he may be subject to fines from the team.

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