With state governments eyeing an entry point for NFL franchises to resume offseason activities, sources tell Yahoo Sports that head coaches could return to team facilities as early as next week — with players potentially following in full-squad minicamps in mid to late June.
The sources told Yahoo Sports that if coaches resume their in-house work next week, minicamps including players could be scheduled as early as June 15 or as late as June 27, depending on COVID-19 data and whether a handful of franchises get a “go ahead” signal from state governments to resume full operations.
Resuming full operations and getting a minicamp scheduled would represent the league's biggest step to date toward keeping the 2020 NFL season on track for a regularly scheduled fall kickoff.
One league source told Yahoo Sports that a declaration from California Gov. Gavin Newsom will serve as the key hurdle in whether the NFL can pull off a fully operational minicamp in June. If Newsom opens the way for full team operations (without any fan attendance), the league could then give NFL franchises the option of holding a minicamp sometime in June, before breaking once again and setting dates for the opening of training camps.
“If California is open for [team] operations soon, minicamps can still happen in June — probably late June, I’d think — but maybe even mid-June,” the league source said.
A second source added that June 15 and June 27 are the dates that have been identified as potential full-squad minicamp windows. It’s not known if a June 27 minicamp, which would be roughly two weeks later than normal for a final offseason minicamp, would ultimately push back the start of training camp in July. Any resumption of activities involving players would likely also have to come with a sign-off from the NFL Players Association, which has remained in constant communication with the league to weigh in on the structure of offseason activities.
Cleveland Browns center J.C. Tretter, the president of the NFLPA, said the union would need to agree to any plan.
As it stands, Newsom has already addressed a potential return for sports operations as early as next month, with “modifications and very prescriptive conditions.”
“A number of other sectors of our economy will open up again if we hold these trend lines in the next number of weeks,” Newsom said in a May 18 news conference.
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also made the strongest statements to date about the NFL season getting underway in the fall, telling CNBC that he believes a season will “definitely” happen.
“I think there definitely will be a football season this year,” Ross told CNBC Tuesday. “Real question is, will there be fans in the stadium? Right now — today — we’re planning to have fans in the stadium. … We all miss our sports. The NFL, I think, will be ready to go. I know we’re all looking forward to it. I know I am.”
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