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#pounditSunday, October 1, 2023

Reason revealed for Patriots being stripped of OTA practices

Bill Belichick with a headset

Dec 29, 2019; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sidelines during the second half of their loss to the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots on Wednesday were penalized for committing a violation of offseason rules, and we now have a better idea of what the team did wrong.

The Patriots unexpectedly canceled their practice that was scheduled for Thursday. ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported that the team was docked two voluntary organized team activities (OTAs), though it was unclear why.

A source with knowledge of the situation told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that the Patriots committed a meeting violation. An observer from the NFL Players Association reported the meeting — a 15-minute special teams session — as a violation because it was made visible on New England’s internal schedule. The meeting should have been optional at this point in the offseason, but the NFLPA felt the Patriots made it mandatory by placing it on the schedule.

In addition to losing Thursday’s workout, the Patriots will have to give up either their Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday practice next week. The Patriots were originally scheduled to have 10 days of OTAs and three days of minicamp for a total of 13 days of practice this spring. Now they will end up with eight days of OTAs and three days of minicamp for a total of 11 days of practice.

Numerous teams have been disciplined for OTA violations over the last several years. The most common violation is allowing contact during practices that are supposed to be non-contact. The Patriots apparently committed a different type of violation.

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