EARTH CITY, MO - JANUARY 17: St. Louis Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis and quarterback Sam Bradford look on during a press conference to introduce new head coach Jeff Fisher at the Russell Training Center on January 17, 2012 in Earth City, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Sam Bradford, Jeff Fisher, and the St. Louis Rams run into the new collective bargaining agreement.
The St. Louis Rams' CBA-mandated actual offseason is rapidly coming to a close, which is occasion enough for head coach Jeff Fisher to decry the issues raised by that offseason. ProFootballTalk does a good job of summarizing the situation: Fisher resents the fact that Sam Bradford was bound by the collective bargaining agreement not to, say, show up at Rams Park in February and watch tape and go through the playbook with the staff on a voluntary basis.
Which sounds great, because it ignores the human element inherent in the CBA's language. The ban isn't in place to hamstring teams, or to prevent super-excited young franchise quarterbacks from coming in early and working all year—it's in place to prevent coaches from turning voluntary workouts into effectively mandated workouts.
It's asking too much of the CBA, I think, to suggest it successfully thread that needle—and given how badly the NFL's players get it in nearly every other area, the NFLPA was right to hold out on this issue.