It’s back to the classroom for many NFL players as 2020 offseason programs get set to kick off with no on-field work allowed.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network announced on Monday that the NFL and NFLPA have come to terms on an offseason workout program.
The NFL and NFLPA have reached agreement on a voluntary offseason program for 2020, starting next Monday, April 20, per sources. The “virtual period” can begin next Monday, April 20, but — this is key — no on-field work until all 32 club facilities can reopen.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 13, 2020
The main aspect here is that teams and players won’t be allowed to do any on-field work until facilities re-open. There’s no telling when that could be, which may put young players, especially rookies, in trouble.
They won’t be able to undergo any offseason workouts with their new coaches and teammates. New quarterbacks won’t have the chance to build chemistry with receivers. New offensive linemen won’t be able to gel with their counterparts.
The NFL and NFLPA have tackled the biggest issue they can control. Teams with new head coaches, like the New York Giants, would’ve already had their first workouts in a normal season.
Those teams are usually given extra time to work because of the new playbook and staff. They missed those extra workouts earlier in the offseason, but they’ll be made up. Teams with new head coaches will be given an extra voluntary virtual veteran minicamp.
The “virtual period” of the offseason will begin on April 20. Teams will have three consecutive weeks to hold virtual workouts with their players. This includes classroom work, workouts, and any non-football educational work. This period must conclude no later than May 15.
This solution isn’t perfect, but it does get teams in touch with their players. There’s more work to be done before the start of the season, but if the 2020 campaign does start on time, expect to see some of the sloppiest games of professional football anyone has ever watched.