Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter has a lot on his plate these days.
Not only is he preparing an offense line that will see two or three new starters in 2020, but Tretter and his wife, Anna, are expecting their first child.
Tretter is also staying busy in his role as president of the NFL Players Association, a task that has taken on greater importance as the players and the league office work together to figure how to actually have a season this fall.
One way to do that was to create a path for players to opt-out of the season, something that four Browns players have done so far: offensive linemen Colby Gossett, Drew Forbes and Drake Dorbeck, and defensive tackle Andrew Billings.
While Tretter has decided to play this season, during a media session on Wednesday he encouraged every player to think hard about their situation before making a decision, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
“Our goal was to give guys options. I think everybody has their own unique circumstances and needs to sort through and gather more information, and then they just make the decision that they feel most comfortable with.
“I think my main goal is protecting the players. When you take on this job, that’s your responsibility. You’re protecting all the players within the league. When you take on the job as your player rep for your team, your job is to protect all of the guys in your locker room. When you take on the presidency, your job is to protect the players in all locker rooms.”
Tretter also expressed a desire to see testing on a daily basis continue past just the first 14 days of training camp, according to Tom Withers at The Associated Press:
“Throughout this there are going to be constant needs to evolve and change and make decisions that are best to keep the game moving forward. We will continue to learn from our errors, other leagues’ errors and I think that’s something (daily testing) we need to look at and something we need to push.”
Finally, Tretter emphasized that while the protocols put in place by the league and the union are working, everyone from the front office through the coaching staff and the players must continue to buy in for this to work, according to the team’s website:
“I think the protocols are working. I think everybody’s realized that it’s different. What we do at the facility is different, and we have to make sure guys continue to buy in and understand this is for the best.”
There is still a considerable amount of work to do before the season begins on September 10, but if everyone involved with the game can take as rational of an approach as Tretter, the NFL just might be able to pull this off.