The calm before the storm.
The 2022 NFL Draft is in the rearview, along with the free agency frenzy. Both training camp and essentially the start of the regular season are just a few months away. Rosters have shifted to create a foundation for the future. Hope builds for a new year with a fresh slate. So, what takes place between now and the start of training camp for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Here is an overview of each event on the calendar.
Schedule Release: May 12 -- The 2022 NFL Schedule will be released on NFL Network, NFL.com and the NFL app on Thursday, May 12 at 8:00 PM ET. Ahead of the full release on May 12, the following will be announced: First Thursday Night Football game on Prime Video (April 28), international games (May 4), select games (week of May 9) and teams to announce their respective first home game opponent (May 12). Additionally, ESPN will have primetime specials on May 12 featuring the schedule release via ESPN2 and ESPN+.
Rookie Mini-Camp: May 13-15 – In addition to the Bucs' eight draft selections, signed undrafted free agents and several more hopefuls on a tryout basis will participate in the onboarding process from May 13-15. For first-year players, rookie mini-camp serves as the first real glimpse of the pro level as they begin to acclimate to the NFL. The first day, rookies will undergo physicals and strength and conditioning testing. They will have their first meeting with head coach Todd Bowles and in the days following, rookies will break into position groups and hit the field for the first time. The goal is for coaches to be able to work with players in a one-on-one setting before veterans arrive for OTAs and mandatory minicamp. The practices with be light without full pads. The practices are designed for evaluation, instruction and helping and discovering which are absorbing the information.
Phase 3 OTAs: May 17-19, 24-26, 31, June 1-3 – Consists of the last four weeks of the program, following phase one and two. This is the part of the program with the most extensive work, mirroring an in-season workout. No live-action contact is permitted but teams can conduct 11-on-11, 9-on-7, and 7-on-7 drills. The team will conduct mandatory minicamp (June 12-14) during this window and that is the only part of the program that is mandatory for veteran players.