JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The NFLPA is investigating whether the Jacksonville Jaguars violated the league's collective bargaining agreement after the team sent a letter to several players requiring them to return to Jacksonville earlier this month to undergo physicals, league sources confirmed to ESPN.
The Florida Times-Union first reported that the NFLPA was looking into the matter.
However, a league source said that it appears the request in the letter sent by Jaguars executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin may not be a violation of the explicit rules of the CBA, though it may violate the spirit of the agreement.
According to the CBA that was adopted in August 2011, players are not required to attend or participate in any offseason workout program or classroom instruction. However, players are allowed to work out on their own at the team's facilities prior to the start of the official offseason workout program, which this year begins on April 10.
Players who do so, however, are not allowed to receive workout bonuses and may not be paid or reimbursed for travel, food or lodging. That means any players who did travel to Jacksonville to have a physical at the Jaguars' request had to do so on their own dime.
That apparently caused some hard feelings and prompted the complaint to the NFLPA.
However, there is nothing written in the CBA that prohibits teams from asking players to return to the team facility or city for a physical before the offseason program begins. A league source confirmed that is the case but said that while it's not forbidden some teams may treat it as an unofficial unwritten rule.
If the NFLPA determines that the Jaguars did violate the CBA, the Jaguars could face punishment that could include the loss of one of their 10 organized team activities, which are part of phase three of the offseason program. Phase one is two weeks of strength and conditioning and physical rehab, with only part- or full-time strength and conditioning coaches allowed on the field.
Phase two lasts three weeks and coaches are allowed on the field. However, no live contact, team offense vs. team defense, or one-on-one drills (OL vs. DL, WR vs. DBs) are allowed. Players cannot wear helmets in phase one or two.