The NFL Thursday notified the Atlanta Falcons that the club will forfeit its first three days of Organized Team Activities in 2017 for violating NFL-NFLPA work rules that prohibit excessive contact in all offseason workouts.

The violation stemmed from a May 2016 session in which the club permitted players to engage in excessive levels of on-field physical contact which is expressly prohibited under the NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. This marked the team’s first violation of the rule.

As a result, Falcons players will be paid for the cancelled sessions, according to WSB-TV, WXIA-TV and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The prohibition is one of several measures the NFL and NFLPA implemented to enhance player safety by limiting contact during offseason workout programs. The rules also help to prevent any team from gaining a competitive advantage.

The team issued a statement regarding the OTA penalties imposed by the league, “We take player safety very seriously and work hard to ensure that we are in compliance with league rules. Although we are disappointed in the penalty, we respect the league’s decision and will make the necessary adjustments moving forward.”

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