If it was up to NFL Player's Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, players like Redskins rookie Montez Sweat wouldn't step a foot near the field at rookie minicamp without a contract.
And all players, he said, wouldn't do anything on the field for things like Organized Team Activities (OTAs) that they're not being paid for.
“Some players have incentives in their contract to go to OTAs because we take a pretty hard line that OTAs are purely voluntary," Smith said on The Sports Junkies Friday morning. "If you want to put something in your contract that you get $20,000 for going to an OTA, knock yourself out."
OTAs and minicamps are voluntary and unpaid, but players do get a stipend depending on the team's location to cover their living and meal expenses while in camp attendance. There's also an enormous pressure often from fans and team culture for some players to attend.
“Frankly, I think players should never do anything for free," Smith said.