NFLPA To Propose Revised Offseason Layout

OTAs are ongoing around the NFL as teams proceed with the third and final phase of voluntary offseason workouts. Things could look much different in that regard next year.

The NFL Players’ Association is finalizing a proposal to dramatically alter the layout of the offseason schedule, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network details. The new arrangement would call for a lengthy spell of time off for teams and players during the spring when voluntary workouts currently take place, with a ramp-up period to training camp beginning in mid-June. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk previously reported that the NFLPA was exploring such a proposal.

An official framework is expected to be in place this summer, per Pelissero, who adds the changes could take effect as early as next offseason. That would require an agreement with the NFL, since the structure of offseason workouts is collectively bargained. The majority of the players support the revisions, which would allow for meetings to take place during the spring but no on-field practices.

As for coaches and front office staffers,’s Albert Breer notes support for such a change does not appear present. The gap between minicamp and training camp falling when it does allows for family vacations, as it falls outside the schoolyear. Moving the period without offseason workouts to May would stand to interfere with staffers’ schedules, though many players’ families would also be impacted by this change.

Of course, this news comes against the backdrop of the NFL seeking another expansion to the regular season schedule. Commissioner Roger Goodell and many of the league’s owners are on board with an 18-game slate, something which needs to be bargained with the union. Adding a second bye week has been floated as one of several concessions to the NFLPA which could be required to exchange one preseason contest for an additional regular season one, and an expansion of time off during the spring could represent another.

A number of factors will need to be considered before any formal agreement is in place on this front. As Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes, many players around the NFL have offseason workout bonuses in their contracts. The elimination of voluntary workouts (and therefore attendance at that portion of teams’ programs) would make such clauses moot. It will be interesting to see how the league’s owners respond once the proposal is finalized.

Pelissero notes the NFLPA consulted medical and performance personnel as part of the process of working out a revised offseason schedule. Allowing players more time off after the campaign has ended coupled with an uninterrupted period of OTA-like work immediately followed by training camp in the summer would certainly mark a drastic change from the status quo. If sufficient support exists for the changes, though, they could be made in relatively short order.

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