Section 2Time Periods
Subject to the limitations in Subsections (c) and (d) 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 working 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) players 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) players’ activities may not be directed or supervised by any coaches, except that the Club’s strength and conditioning coaches may direct an individual player’s workout in the weight room and may supervise use of the weight room to prevent injury and to correct misuse of equipment; (iv) players may participate on a voluntary basis in Club-sponsored individual or group activities and instruction at the Club facility related to diet, nutrition, wellness, yoga, aerobics, swimming or other similar types of therapeutic exercise; (v) notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Article, Clubs may provide players with video for viewing by the player away from the Club facility. The video may be distributed to players by external hard drive, downloading to the player’s personal or Club-provided electronic device, or by providing the player with access to the Club’s game video database, so long as no player is rewarded or disciplined based upon the frequency or duration of his use of such database. The video may include coaching or instructional voiceovers or audio content, superimposed diagrams, schematics, or written commentary. 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 Subsections 2(b)(i)-(iii) above, 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).
Each Club’s official nine-week offseason workout program shall be conducted in three phases, as follows:
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 conditioning 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 participate in or observe activities. No footballs shall be permitted to be used (only “dead ball” activities), except that (1) quarterbacks may elect to throw to receivers provided they are not covered by any other player; (2) kickers, punters, PAT/field goal holders, and long snappers may use footballs on the field for kicking, punting, snapping or holding without the involvement of any other players; (3) returners may field punts and kickoffs provided they are not covered by any other player; (4) JUGGS machines may be used for pass catching, punt returns, and kickoff returns. Players cannot wear helmets during Phase One, except that players using JUGGS machines may wear helmets for safety purposes if the player so desires. During all three phases of a Club’s offseason workout program, participating players may meet with members of the Club’s Player Engagement staff and may attend NFL/NFLPA jointly-sponsored educational sessions.
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 workouts may include (1) individual or group instruction and drills during which offensive players may hold shields or bags for offensive players and defensive players may hold shields or bags for defensive players; (2) “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); (3) drills and plays conducted with offensive players lining up across from offensive players and defensive players lining up across from defensive players with each group permitted to align eleven or fewer players across from eleven or fewer players. Players on one side of the ball may execute a play, but players on the opposite side of the ball may not initiate contact with, or attempt to impede the progress of, players who are running the play (such drills and plays shall be conducted at an acceptable walkthrough pace (i.e., Pro Bowl practice pace), as demonstrated in a video jointly approved by the parties); and (4) JUGGS machines may be used for pass catching, punt returns, and kickoff returns. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted. No offense vs. defense drills are permitted (e.g., no oneon-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 may wear jointly-approved protective shirts during Phase Two but cannot wear helmets, except that players using JUGGS machines may wear helmets for safety purposes if the player so desires. The on-field time limit for Phase Two begins when coaches begin to coach a player or players on the field.
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 Subsections 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(c)(ii) of this Article. 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) except that, outside of the 10-yard line, simulated press coverage is permitted using hand placement (versus jamming) during 11-on-11 drills and related position group one-on-one drills (e.g., footwork and release work (no “live-contact” or “bump-and-run”). During simulated press coverage drills, hand contact between a defensive player and a receiver is permitted provided the defensive player does not impede the receiver or alter his route and no live contact occurs. The NFL shall provide a video that is jointly approved by the parties demonstrating permissible press coverage and one-on-one drills. In addition to onfield activities permitted during Phase Two of a Club’s offseason workout program, 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; players may wear jointly approved protective shirts; no shells are permitted during Phase Three of the Club’s offseason workout program or any minicamp. The on-field time limit for Phase Three begins when coaches begin to coach a player or players on the field. In the event that a Club begins an on-field OTA practice but such practice is discontinued within sixty minutes of its commencement due to inclement weather or for any reason beyond the Club’s control, the practice may be rescheduled on another day within the nine-week limit for offseason workouts unless the Club has an indoor practice facility, in which case the practice must be resumed and completed, if at all, on the same day in the Club’s indoor facility, provided that the Club shall have a reasonable period of time to relocate players and equipment. In such a case the NFL will notify the NFLPA on a same-day basis that the practice was interrupted. If the Club does not have an indoor facility and wishes to reschedule the practice, the NFL will consult with the NFLPA before the practice is rescheduled.
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 obligation under this sentence shall be deemed satisfied.