Inside The Bills

Offseason workout guidelines

Posted by Chris Brown on April 18, 2016 – 8:43 am

As players return to One Bills Drive on a voluntary basis for the start of the offseason conditioning program. Here is a listing of the guidelines as outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement as to what is permissible and when during the course of the nine weeks in which teams can conduct offseason activities.

As per Article 21 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club’s official, voluntary nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases:

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.

Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that clubs may hold one mandatory minicamp for veteran players. This minicamp, noted below, must occur during Phase Three of the offseason program.

Head coaches hired after the end of the 2015 season are entitled to conduct an additional voluntary veteran minicamp.  Any voluntary minicamp for veteran players must be conducted prior to the NFL Draft (April 28-30), but no earlier than week three of the club’s offseason workout program and after at least one week of the two weeks of Phase One activities that the clubs may hold pursuant to Article 21. This year, six clubs will hold voluntary veteran minicamps, as noted below.

Each club may hold a rookie football development program for a period of seven weeks, which in 2016 may begin on May 9. During this period, no activities may be held on weekends, with the exception of one post-NFL Draft rookie minicamp, which may be conducted on either the first or second weekend following the draft.


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