JC Tretter: Offseason a success, players felt they actually had a choice

Browns center JC Tretter is also the president of the NFL Players Association and that role put him front and center in the debate about how the league’s offseason programs would look this year.

Tretter and the NFLPA pushed for players to not participate in the voluntary, in-person portions of programs and there were a slew of statements from players on different teams suggesting they would stay away. Actual participation numbers were a bit higher than those would have suggested, but many of the Browns offensive players did work out on their own.

Those players are in Cleveland for mandatory minicamp this week and Tretter said on Tuesday that he’s happy with how things have played out because players were truly empowered to make decisions for themselves.

“If we want to talk about success, I think this is the first time in a long time players felt like they actually had a choice,” Tretter said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “I think we created an environment that allowed guys to make a clear, honest decision of whether they should. . . . We had some guys who said yes and some guys who said no, but that is the decision that every player should be able to make because it is a voluntary program.”

Many teams altered their schedules after consulting with players this offseason and Tretter said he thinks it will be hard for those clubs to revert back to the old format in the years to come, although that will surely be a bigger discussion come the 2022 offseason.