Tom Brady not only has held optional workouts with Buccaneers teammates against the NFL’s recommendation. But he also decided to flout it on Instagram.

Brady quoted President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, saying the “Only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”

NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith told USA Today he is against these workouts during the coronavirus pandemic. USA Today asked Smith directly about Brady and Seattle QB Russell Wilson continuing to hold workouts.

“Those practices are not in the best interest of player safety,” Smith said. “They are not in the best interest of protecting our players heading into training camp. And I don’t think they are in the best interest of us getting through an entire season. I certainly understand how competitive our players are. And I get that. But at the same time, we are in the process of trying to negotiate. We have to negotiate with the league about what happens to a player if they test positive during the season. Does that player go on injured reserve? Do they go on short-term IR? If you test positive for the virus after training camp, is that a work-related injury? Are you covered under workers’ comp? What benefits are available to you if you have downstream injuries from contracting COVID-19?

“All of the things players may want to do during the offseason have a direct impact on how well we can negotiate protections for them once the season starts,” Smith added. “We sent out the guidance because we thought that was in their best healthy and safety interest. Let’s just say for some of the players who practice, we’ve made sure they’ve heard the message.”

On June 20, NFLPA medical director Dr. Thom Mayer issued a formal recommendation that informal workouts end immediately.

“Please be advised that it is our consensus medical opinion that in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts,” Mayer wrote in the NFLPA’s statement. “Our goal is to have all players and your families as healthy as possible in the coming months.

“We are working on the best mitigation procedures at team facilities for both training camps and the upcoming season, and believe that it is in the best interest of all players that we advise against any voluntary joint practices before training camp commences.”

Brady is entering his first year with the Bucs after signing a two-year contract in free agency this offseason.

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