In a statement released by the NFLPA on Monday, their Board of Player Representatives have unanimously agreed to allow virtual Organized Team Activities until team facilities can reopen.
With players and team personnel unable to use team facilities, the offseason program, which really kicks into place following the NFL draft, will be done over the computer just like so many other gatherings at this time. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on the corresponding memo which was sent to all NFL teams.
Virtual off-season now officially approved, and this went to all teams after players approved it to lay out new off-season guidelines. pic.twitter.com/R4Fm1L5jCn— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 13, 2020
Under the current conditions going on in our society, there was no way possible for players to be able to meet at facilities and have organized activities. By setting up guidelines for teams to meet virtually, it will allow NFL teams to hold classroom sessions and virtual workouts. It appears that the length and duration of these activities will fall in line with the dates and times in which they would have been held originally under the league’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Should the league open team facilities, OTA’s could resume as originally planned. But in order for this to occur, the memo sent to teams clearly stated every facility must be able to open in order to maintain a competitive balance. The memo stated, “In the event one or more NFL Club facilities remain closed for any period of time, all Club facilities must remain closed during that period.”
Should NFL team facilities remain closed through all of OTA’s, teams will then have the option to hold mandatory mini camp in a virtual setting. In 2019, the Steelers mini camp was held from June 11 to June 13.
With all of society continuing in uncharted waters, the NFL is merely just adapting it’s offseason schedule and procedures in order to stay focused on at least maintaining the possibility of beginning for 2020 season on schedule. As much as I look forward to seeing our favorite Steelers’ players in their practice jerseys going through drills for the first time as a team, knowing the team is attempting to be as productive as possible in preparation for this season can be a helpful reminder to everyone as we attempt to adjust to the current social protocol.