April 24 (UPI) -- Jacksonville Jaguars executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin received a warning letter from the NFL about his criticism of players skipping voluntary workouts, league sources told ESPN and the NFL Network on Wednesday.
Coughlin wasn't fined by the NFL, but the league's letter warned Coughlin and the Jaguars that additional comments could lead to discipline, according to ESPN. The league could issue a fine or take away OTA practice days.
Coughlin, while delivering a speech during the Jaguars' state of the franchise presentation last Thursday, said he was disappointed that some players chose to skip the team's voluntary off-season conditioning program. Coughlin singled out cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith during his speech, but he didn't mention either player by name. Ramsey and Smith were the only two players absent from voluntary workouts.
"We're very close to 100 percent attendance, and, quite frankly, our players should be here building the concept of team, working hard side-by-side, constructing our bond of togetherness, formulating our collective priorities and goals," Coughlin said. "Success in the NFL demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish and insensitive to the real values of team. The hard work that many try to avoid is the major building block for the development of an outstanding football team."
Coughlin's comments evoked a response from Ramsey and his agent, David Mulugheta. NFLPA president Eric Winston also expressed his displeasure at Coughlin's remarks in a statement last Friday.
"Our CBA definition of voluntary is the same as the actual definition of voluntary and prohibits anyone from threatening players to participate in voluntary workouts," Winston said. "This is precisely the reason players negotiated strict work rules and bright lines when it comes to off-season activities. We know, from experience, that not all coaches and executives will adhere to them and we always pursue any violations to protect our rules."
Ramsey didn't participate in last year's voluntary workouts. Smith had participated every year since the Jaguars drafted him in 2014.