Over the weekend, the Kansas City Chiefs — along with most of the rest of the NFL’s teams — conducted their three-day rookie minicamp, bringing in their six drafted rookies, eight undrafted rookie free agents, five unsigned rookies invited for tryouts and 10 younger players from the Chiefs’ roster — all of the latter with less than two years of experience in the league.
On Monday, Kansas City opened the next part of their offseason: Phase Two. Under modified NFL protocols for this season, this voluntary one-week program consists of virtual meetings, and may also include on-field drills with coaches at a “teaching pace” — but there can be no live contact.
According to a report from the Kansas City Star’s Herbie Teope, the voluntary program opened with excellent attendance.
I'm told the Chiefs had 81 players present for today's start of Phase II of the NFL's offseason workout program, which is, of course, voluntary. That's a great number.— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) May 17, 2021
Chiefs kick off Phase III next week with OTAs.
In a normal offseason, we might see 90% attendance at a voluntary offseason program as a bad thing. While we could see a few players miss voluntary activities because they are in contract negotiations, nine players sitting out would raise eyebrows.
But in this particular offseason — in which the NFL Players’ Association has organized an attempt at boycotting these voluntary team activities — that’s a good number. The last we knew, players from 19 teams — not including Chiefs players — had issued statements supporting the boycott, which the players’ union says is to protect its members from potential exposure to the coronavirus.
While Chiefs players — as a group — haven’t weighed in on the boycott publicly, individual players might decide to support it by sitting out the voluntary portions of the offseason. But based on Teope’s report, it appears that very few individual Chiefs players are doing so.