NFL sets off-season schedule, still plans mandatory minicamps

·1 min read

NEW YORK — The NFL has set its schedule for off-season workouts and still plans to have mandatory in-person minicamps, something the players' union has opposed.

The league released the schedule through mid-June, with all 32 teams listing required-attendance minicamps next month. NFLPA President JC Tretter, a centre for the Browns, has been vocal in his opposition to any programs requiring players to be on hand, stressing a preference for virtual work similar to 2020.

In a release Thursday, the NFL said: “Voluntary off-season workout programs are intended to provide training, teaching and physical conditioning for players.” All of those sessions were held remotely last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The union wants to replicate that not just for 2021 but beyond.

The off-season programs include three phases. The first began April 19 and concludes May 14. It was extended from its customary two-week period. Activities are limited to strength and conditioning, virtual meetings, and physical rehab.

In the second phase (May 17-21), which has been shortened from three weeks to one, on-field walk-throughs can include individual player instruction and drills that don't include contact.

Phase three (May 24-June 18) remains its customary four weeks and could be the source of conflict between the league and union. This phase allows in-person meetings and classroom instruction, subject to COVID-19 testing, tracking, facility access and other protocols. Ten days of organized team activities (OTAs) allow no live contact, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

Most minicamps are scheduled toward the end of this phase.

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The Associated Press

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