In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) have reached an agreement on modifications to the rules regarding offseason workout programs and minicamps.
CNN has obtained a memo of those changes, dated Monday, from the NFL Management Council to chief executives, presidents, general managers and head coaches.
Starting next week, there will be a “Virtual Period” portion of the offseason program while team facilities remain closed, and later there will be an “On-Field Period” for when team facilities reopen. The virtual period will start April 20 until May 15.
“Both our Executive committee and Board of Player Reps have voted unanimously to approve a virtual offseason program up until the start of training camp,” the NFLPA said in a statement on Twitter. “We will be sending out all the details and setting up calls with players and agents for how this will work shortly.”
During the virtual period, teams can conduct classroom instruction, workouts, and non-football educational programs using Skype, or any other appropriate platform, on a “virtual” basis.
When team facilities reopen for the on-field period, teams may resume offseason workout programs, including all permissible on-field activities, under the customary rules in the collective bargaining agreement.
The reopening of team facilities will occur in accordance with protocols established by the NFL, conforming with federal, state and local rules and regulations, and only after consultation with the NFLPA, which will be made widely known to teams at the appropriate time.
If one or more NFL team facility remain closed for any period of time, all team facilities will remain closed during that period.
As it has been in previous years, the program is voluntary to players. Veteran players who participate are to be paid the $235 daily minimum amount, and players with offseason workout bonuses must be credited for their participation in those sessions.
Each team may elect to continue its offseason workout program beginning May 18, either under a virtual format or under an on-field format, depending upon conditions.
The virtual period will end and the on-field period will begin for all teams at any point during the offseason workout program when all NFL team facilities have reopened.
All offseason workout programs end for all teams on June 26.