Steelers News

Cameron Heyward ‘Can’t Cry Wolf About Voluntary Workouts’ When It Comes To CBA

The Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations didn’t exactly go the way I thought they would, quite frankly. But then again, that’s because I never expected the extra game proposal to be for real. As Ramon Foster suggested last year, it always seemed like a distraction more than something the owners really thought they would get.

They are forcing their way now, however, and that’s changed what the players are asking for. Without the 17 games, I seriously thought the NFLPA might actually allow for greater team access to players in the offseason in exchange for some of the other things they’ve gotten, like a greater revenue share, increased wages, offseason compensation, easing up on marijuana regulations, etc.

Instead, because they were adding that 17th game, the NFLPA has been pushing hard to restrict the offseason even further. That’s something that not everyone was apparently on-board with, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Pittsburgh SteelersCameron Heyward was among them.

The defensive captain, and NFLPA team rep alternate behind Ramon Foster, went on a mini rant on Twitter to voice his opinion on what he has heard back from some of his fellow union members, as it pertains to the union’s push to restrict voluntary workouts, and their being tied to workout bonuses.

Scaling back the offseason calendar was a major part of the NFLPA’s ‘gains’ from the last round of negotiations over the Collective Bargaining Agreement back in 2011. While it made some significant progress, such as the end of two-a-days, it also put significant restrictions on how coaches can interact with players for long stretches of the offseason.

This is fine for older players, but could be a significant hindrance to young players learning the game, especially those on the fringes of making the roster, and for players who are new to the team. It hasn’t exactly been uncommon that even players have lamented some of the drawbacks from this arrangement over the past decade.

As it stands, the current CBA is scaling back training camp, requiring more days off, and cutting the number of padded practices that are allowed. There will also be a five-day acclimation period before pads come on at the start of camp.

The Steelers have the most physical training camp in the NFL, so they could be among the hardest-hit by this. Again, it doesn’t sound as though Heyward is necessarily looking forward to embracing some of the limitations the NFLPA is campaigning for.

That’s because he is a football player who wants to win football games, and he understands the importance of the offseason process in building a team, a unit that is able to work together and wants to win for each other. There is already precious little time in the offseason, especially for on-field work together, and it’s about to be reduced even further, assuming the CBA passes.

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