The new collective bargaining agreement has not only scaled back the number of OTA practices teams can hold to 10, it has also limited the duration of the practices (two hours) and established guidelines for which workouts are and are not permissible. Additionally, cameras are monitoring the action and are submitted to the league for review.
Head coaches and teams are jointly responsible for any conduct that violates that portion of the CBA, which explains why Jacksonville Jaguars coach Mike Mularkeyrushed onto the field after Tuesday's allotted session to get running back Rashad Jennings off it when the fourth-year back was getting some extra work in with running backs coach Sylvester Croom.
"I'm like 'You can't be out here!,' " Mularkey said according to Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union. "I had to pull them off and I hope my gesture of 'get off the field' was big enough so the cameras saw me."
Any reported violations of the practice times would be heard by an impartial arbitrator. If the arbitrator finds that violations did take place, the head coach may be fined $100,000 for a first violation and $250,000 for a second violation, with the club penalized $250,000 (first violation) and $500,000 (second violation). Those fines are split 50-50 between the Gene Upshaw Players Assistance Trust and Player Care Foundation. Two violations would also result in the cancellation of the team's next week of OTAs -- if the violations occur in the last week of OTAs, the first week of OTAs the following season would be cancelled -- and a forfeiture of a fourth round pick in the next entry draft where the team has a fourth round pick.
With penalties that steep, it's easy to see why Mularkey and all NFL coaches will be monitoring this closely.