The NFL's offseason program began on Monday, but for now most of the work will be done virtually.
Phase One of the offseason program, which began Monday and is voluntary for players, consists of no onfield activity and no in-person work between the coaches and players. Teams can hold two hours worth of virtual meetings during each day of Phase One, which lasts four weeks and ends in mid-May. Teams can have their weight rooms open for workouts but no more than 10 players may be in the building at the same time.
That precaution is obviously part of the ongoing effort to maintain player safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID protocols from last season – testing, social distancing and the wearing of masks among them – are still in place and the league wants teams to use Phase One to continue vaccination efforts for players, coaches and staff.
Phase Two of the offseason program starts on May 17 and lasts just one week. The meetings will remain virtual but some onfield drills will be added, with no contact allowed. This phase is expected to focus on work with the team's new rookies following the April 29-May 1 NFL Draft. Phase Three runs from May 24 through June 18, and allows for full-speed practices knowns as OTAs, still without contact. These phases are also voluntary but traditionally end with a mandatory three-day minicamp.