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Why did Patriots lose two OTAs? Phil Perry shares insight on rule violation

Perry: More insight into rule violation that cost the Patriots two OTAs originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots offseason program is off to an ominous start.

The Patriots reportedly forfeited two days of organized team activity as punishment for a violation of the NFL’s offseason rules. According to Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal, the violation involved special team meetings led by special teams coach Joe Judge in early May that allowed players to be at the New England facility longer than the four-hour maximum.

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While losing two OTAs in May isn’t the end of the world, things still look bad for a Patriots team coming off an 8-9 season marred by uncharacteristic dysfunction. What really happened here and how did New England get caught?

Our Phil Perry gave more details on Thursday about the “Early Edition” of NBC Sports Boston.

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“What I heard is that there was an NFL (Players Association) representative at Gillette Stadium on one of the days when one of these violations occurred,” said Perry.

“So May 1st, May 2nd, May 4th, it was three different occasions when these workshops took place and players stayed longer than they were supposed to. And on one of those days, a PA representative was there. And I think that’s a part of the reason why this punishment finally comes out.”

What surprised Perry about this infraction is that teams usually aren’t penalized for these minor infractions that don’t involve extra practice time on the field or excessive contact during practices.

“What I have been told is that the PA is not necessarily looking for teams for violations like this,” added Perry. “(It’s) a short meeting, it’s not a contact on the practice, it’s not really about health and safety. This is the kind of thing where the PA would generally say something like, ‘Hey guys, you guys stayed late on Monday .’

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“And if you have three separate violations on May 1, May 2, and May 4, I wonder if that, because of the repetitive nature of this violation, will lead to the penalty.”

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer also added more color to what the meetings actually entailed, noting that they seemed voluntary and relatively informal.

“I just heard that this was actually offered as a kind of voluntary session before you start your day,” Breer said. “So over breakfast the offensive and defensive players had a chance to meet Joe Judge and go over a few things specifically team wise.”

Nevertheless, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported that the meetings were visible on the team’s internal schedule, making them more “mandatory” in the eyes of the NFLPA and leading to New England’s penalty.

For more insight from Perry and Breer, watch their full discussion with Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran and host Trenni Casey in the YouTube video below.

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