The effort to keep rookies from showing up at rookie minicamps isn’t working.
It’s widely expected that all, or nearly all, 2021 rookies (draft picks and undrafted free agents) will attend the 29 rookie minicamps that will be held this weekend. All teams, other than the three that held theirs last weekend (Jets, Raiders, and Colts), will conduct their rookie minicamps over the next few days.
Despite a push by the NFL Players Association to get all players, including rookies, to stay away from voluntary offseason workouts, the rookies are all in. One agent who represents more than 10 rookies recently told PFT that all of that agent’s clients will be present for rookie minicamp and other voluntary workouts.
That’s the prevailing view among most if not all rookies. From the value of getting comfortable at a new workplace to getting to know coworkers to making the new boss happy to having free room and board through the middle of June, reasons abound for showing up.
For plenty of players, an extra inducement comes from the fact that they’re receiving their contracts (and signing bonuses) before ever showing up for a day of voluntary work. Frankly, all rookies should insist on getting their cookie-cutter first contracts before ever putting foot on a practice field.
Even then, they’ll all show up. They all want to make the team, and they all want a chance to contribute. The best way to do that will be to be there with bells on when rookie minicamp begins.