NFL owners are participating in virtual owners meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, and we have already begun to see information about the 2021 offseason trickling out.
Here’s the latest from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero:
The NFL informed clubs today they can begin Phase 1 of OTAs on April 19, per source. Players are still allowed to work out at the facility in small groups, as many have been. The NFL and NFLPA continue to discuss virtual vs. in-person meetings and on-field work soon thereafter.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 30, 2021
The NFL and NFLPA have worked collaboratively throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. But if there's no deal on 2021 offseason rules, normal CBA provisions would apply. In-person workouts and practices would mean players need to show up to earn any workout bonuses in their contracts.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 30, 2021
In a normal offseason, phase one would translate to the first two weeks of the program, with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only. Historically, phase one has been voluntary and should remain so.
As noted less than a week ago, the NFL and NFL Players Association have been having ongoing discussions regarding whether or not the league plans to move forward with in-person offseason activities after last year’s offseason included virtual organized team activities (OTAs) before finally meeting in person for training camp.
Pelissero’s reporting seems to be another indication that the owners would like to see this year’s offseasons get back to a level of normalcy (knowing Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, we can almost assume that would be his preference) — but for that to happen, they will have to come to an agreement with the players.