The National Football League has been fortunate as it pertains to other professional sports leagues. While the NHL and NBA have suspended their season as the playoffs were on the horizon, and MLB postponed the start of their season, the NFL is in their offseason.
With this being fact, the NFL has been able to start their offseason on-time, albeit differently with lack of travel, etc., and still plans on holding the 2020 NFL Draft on time at the end of April.
However, this doesn’t mean the NFL, and their 32 teams, won’t be impacted as the offseason drags on. While the NFL Draft is reportedly going to be a “virtual” draft, with no team employees congregating for the event, it looks as if the NFL’s Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamps will be put on hold for the foreseeable future.
This per Brooke Pryor of ESPN:
Email sent to all NFL players tonight on the 2020 dead period rules ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/LL0A3jIWqD— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) April 7, 2020
The memo essentially states to all players there will be no in-person workouts, although players “may participate on a voluntary basis in individual, or group, activities and instruction on a virtual basis relating to diet, nutrition, wellness, yoga, aerobics and other similar therapeutic exercise.”
Fans should remember Phase 1 of OTAs is when players start the conditioning aspect of their preparation for the upcoming season. Here is a run-down of what each phase of OTAs looks like in a normal offseason:
Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.
What isn’t discussed is how the league, and the NFLPA, will handle players with workout incentives in their contracts. The NFL isn’t suspending the entire offseason program, but merely outlining what Phase 1 of OTAs will look like.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare for the 2020 NFL Draft, and make preparations for the 2020 regular season.