New Orleans Saints decide to opt out of voluntary OTAs
The New Orleans Saints and the players have come to a decision that the team will not participate in the NFL’s voluntary training that will start soon. The black and gold have informed the NFLPA of this within the allotted window of time.
This comes as no surprise as the offseason drastically changed last year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were virtually no offseason workouts and training camp didn’t start until the late summer.
Because of this, the preseason was also canceled. The NFL did vote in favor of taking a preseason game and adding it to the NFL regular season shrinking preseason to just three games and adding a 17th game to the regular season.
The New Orleans Saints, as a team, have decided to inform the NFLPA that they are opting out of voluntary training sessions this offseason.
That will help in aiding some of the practice time at the beginning of the season. The Saints become the 17th team to opt-out of OTAs according to Paul Kasabian. With a limited offseason last year, the team still did well.
They finished 12-4 in the regular season and won one playoff game before losing to the now Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Even without Drew Brees, the team shouldn’t have a hard time competing this upcoming year.
Some benefits of this opt-out might include safety for the players from the pandemic that continue to haunt the United States. They will also have an increased period of rest before starting another season hopefully leading to fewer injuries.
The team will still have to participate in the NFL’s minicamp because it is a mandatory portion of OTAs. However, this decision comes, not as a surprise but as a necessity for the players, and the Saints recognize that fact.
Looking toward the upcoming season, the Saints have a hard schedule, but with Jameis Winston leading the team and Michael Thomas healthy again, this black and gold team should thrive. Maybe another NFC South championship is on the horizon?