Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady wants to be ready for 2020, period. The problem is there's a lot attempting to hamper his offseason chemistry-building with the new-look Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and all of it has to do with the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the novel coronavirus, NFL teams were relegated to a virtual offseason, and players from around the league took up arms to organize group practices that some -- including Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons -- viewed as very "beneficial." With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases around the country and a rash of players around the NFL having tested positive despite not being allowed in team facilities just yet, the NFLPA issued a memo advising players to cease all private group workouts as the NFL works toward trying to get a handle on what appears to be the second wave of the pandemic.

Brady, however, will hear none of it. It was initially reported the six-time Super Bowl winner is continuing to hold group workouts with his new teammates, but that no longer appears to be just a report. The 42-year-old essentially confirmed that's precisely what's been occurring in Central Florida, via a post to his Instagram that came equipped with a succinct explanation as to why he's turning a blind eye to the NFLPA's advice to cease and desist.

"No excuses," he wrote.

Neither the NFLPA nor the NFL have issued comment at this time.

With the virtual offseason for veterans now in the rearview, the next hurdle is a big one for the league. Teams are currently in the process of doing their best to adhere to the new COVID-19 protocol that includes rearranging their respective locker room and figuring out how to design football practices that include social distancing -- the latter being labeled as "humanly impossible" by Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh -- and they don't have long to do so when considering training camps usually begin in mid- to late-July. While the NFL reportedly remains optimistic there will be a regular season this Fall, it would also be one beset with both obvious challenges, and the not-so-obvious, i.e., COVID-19 results that could cause bedlam late in the season and into the playoffs and/or Super Bowl LV.

For Brady and the Bucs, as they attempt to establish a new regime following a sweeping offseason roster overhaul, there's an added layer of difficulty, as newly-signed players attempt to jell with incumbents in a world where distancing is key to preventing the spread of the coronavirus. This also isn't the first time Brady and Co. have made headlines this offseason as he works to bond with his teammates in Tampa, and probably won't be the last -- despite the glaring risk(s).