NFL

Article 21 offseason workouts

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This is the relevant section of the CBA. The earliest start date for the offseason program for team’s with new coaches is the first Monday in April and for other clubs, the third Monday in April. It’s described clearly in phase 1, phase 2, and phase 3 below.

ARTICLE 21 OFFSEASON WORKOUTS

Section 1. Voluntary Workouts:

No player shall be required to attend or participate in any offseason workout program or classroom instruction of a Club other than as pro-vided in Article 22. Any other Club offseason workout programs and classroom instruction sessions shall be strictly voluntary and shall take place in the manner and time period set forth in this Article.

Section 2. Time Periods:

(a) Subject to the limitations in Subsections (b) and (c) below, from the end of the previous NFL season until the opening of training camp, Clubs may schedule or conduct offseason workout programs as follows. If a Club hires a new head coach after the end of the prior regular season, that Club may schedule or conduct an offseason workout program for no more than nine total weeks, with eight of the weeks required to be consecutive and subject to Article 22, Section 3, to be completed over a twelve-week period. All other Clubs may schedule or conduct offseason workout programs for no more than nine consecutive total weeks, to be completed over a ten-week period. In either case, Clubs may schedule no more than four workouts per week for any individual player. Such workout programs shall not be permitted on weekends. Nothing herein shall prevent a Club from permitting an individual player to work out on his own prior to the commencement of the Club’s official offseason workout program using the Club facilities if the player wishes to do so, except that no club official may indicate to a player that such individual workouts are not voluntary, or that a player’s failure to participate in such workouts will result in the player’s failure to make the Club (or that a player’s failure to participate in a workout program or classroom instruction will result in the player’s failure to make the Club or result in any other adverse consequences affecting his work-ing conditions). Prior to the commencement of the Club’s official offseason workout program: (i) players may not receive daily workout payments or workout bonuses of any kind, and may not be paid or reimbursed expenses for travel, board or lodging; (ii) play-ers are not permitted to participate in Club-supervised workouts, Club-supervised practices, group or individual meetings with coaches, group or individual film study with coaches, or group or individual playbook study with coaches; (iii) the Club’s strength and conditioning coaches may not direct players’ individual workouts, but may supervise use of the weight room to prevent injury and to correct misuse of equipment; and (iv) play-ers’ activities may not be directed or supervised by any coaches. In addition, nothing herein shall prevent a Club from permitting an individual player to work out on his own on weekends after the Club’s official offseason program has commenced, or at any time after the Club’s official offseason workout program has ended, using Club facilities if he wishes to do so, subject to the restrictions set forth in the immediately preceding sen-tence of this Subsection, except that no club official may indicate to a player that such individual workouts are not voluntary, or that a player’s failure to participate in such workouts will result in the player’s failure to make the Club (or that a player’s failure to participate in a workout program or classroom instruction will result in the player’s failure to make the Club or result in any other adverse consequences affecting his working conditions).
(b) Each Club’s official nine-week offseason workout program shall be con-ducted in three phases, as follows:

(i) Phase One. Phase One shall consist of the first two weeks of the Club’s offseason workout program. Subject to the additional rules set forth in Section 5 of this Article, Phase One activities shall be limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only. During Phase One, only full-time or part-time strength and condi-tioning coaches, who have no other coaching responsibilities with the Club, shall be allowed on the field; no other coaches shall be allowed on the field or to otherwise par-ticipate in or observe activities. No footballs shall be permitted to be used (only “dead ball” activities), except that quarterbacks may elect to throw to receivers provided they are not covered by any other player. Players cannot wear helmets during Phase One.

(ii) Phase Two. Phase Two shall consist of the next three weeks of the Club’s offseason workout program. Subject to the additional rules set forth in Section 5 of this Article, during Phase Two all coaches shall be allowed on the field. On-field wor-kouts may include individual player instruction and drills, as well as “perfect play” drills (e.g., offense or defense only, but not offense vs. defense), or special teams drills on a “separates” basis (e.g.., kicking team or return team only, but not kicking team vs. return team). No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted. No offense vs. defense drills are permitted (e.g.., no one-on-one offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen pass rush or pass protection drills, no wide receivers vs. defensive backs bump-and-run drills, and no one-on-one special teams drills involving both offense and defense are permitted.) Players cannot wear helmets during Phase Two.

(iii) Phase Three. Phase Three shall consist of the next four weeks of the Club’s offseason workout program. Subject to the additional rules set forth in Subsec-tions 5(a) and 5(c) of this Article and Appendix G to this Agreement, during Phase Three each Club may conduct a total of ten days of organized team practice activity (“OTAs” or “OTA days”). The restrictions set forth in Subsection 5(b) of this Article shall not apply to OTA days. The Club may conduct a maximum of three days of OTAs during each of the first two weeks of Phase Three. A maximum of four days of OTAs may be conducted during either the third week or the fourth week of Phase Three, with the Mandatory Veteran Minicamp (Article 22, Section 2) to be held during the other week. During weeks in which the Club conducts only three days of OTAs, the Club may also conduct a fourth day of non-OTA workouts, but such activities shall be subject to the rules governing Phase Two workouts, as set forth in Subsection 2(b)(ii) of this Ar-ticle. During Phase Three, all coaches shall be allowed on the field. No live contact is permitted. No one-on-one offense vs. defense drills are permitted (i.e., no offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen pass rush or pass protection drills, no wide receivers vs. defensive backs bump-and-run drills, and no one-on-one special teams drills involving both offense and defense are permitted). Special teams drills (e.g., kicking team vs. return team) are permitted, provided no live contact occurs. Team offense vs. team defense drills, including all drills listed in Appendix G to this Agreement, are permitted, provided no live contact occurs. Clubs may require players to wear helmets; no shells are permit-ted during Phase Three of the Club’s offseason workout program or any minicamp.

(c) Each year offseason workout programs cannot begin prior to the first Monday in April for Clubs that have hired a new head coach after the end of the prior regular season, and cannot begin prior to the third Monday in April for all other Clubs. Each year on a date to be agreed upon by the parties, but no later than twenty-one days before the scheduled commencement of a Club’s program, each Club shall provide the NFL and the NFLPA with the Club’s schedule for its offseason workout program that year, and shall advise the NFL and the NFLPA in writing in advance of any changes to that schedule; if the NFL provides such information to the NFLPA, the Club’s obliga-tion under this sentence shall be deemed satisfied.

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