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Breaking down the NFL CBA: Minicamps

The NFL announced dates for rookie minicamps. The San Francisco 49ers is set for May 23-25. With that in mind, we move on in our CBA breakdown to discuss Article 22, which covers minicamps

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The competion of the NFL Draft means we get to find out one more notable set of dates on the 49ers offseason calendar. On Tuesday, the NFL announced the dates for rookie minicamps across the league. The 49ers rookie minicamp will be held May 23-25. This is not to be confused with their mandatory veteran minicamp June 17-19.

More CBA breakdown: Definitions Offseason workout program

We've been breaking down the CBA article by article, and today we move on to Article 22, which covers minicamps. Teams are allowed one mandatory veteran minicamp, which can only take place during Phase 3 of the offseason workout program. Furthermore, it has to be during week 3 or week 4. If a team hired a new head coach after the close of the previous season, they can have a voluntary minicamp as well. The team is also allowed the one rookie minicamp as part of their broader rookie development program. In both instances, contact work is not allowed. This covers things like "live" blocking, tackling, pass rushing, and bump-and-run. Helmets are permitted, but no pads.

Mandatory Minicamp

The program must be during the week, and may not exceed three days in length (plus one day for physical examinations). The exams take place Monday, and then the workouts take place Tuesday through Thursday, with Friday as a day off. Two-a-day practices are permitted on two of the three practice days, but they are subject to the following limitations:

  1. Players may be on the field for a total of no more than 3.5 hours per day;
  2. Players may participate in one practice for no more than 2.5 hours of on-field activities under Phase 3 rules;
  3. The second practice may only be for the remaining portion of the players' daily 3.5 hour on-field activities and shall be limited to walk-through instruction only;
  4. No organized team activities (including treatment and taping) may begin prior to 7:00am local time or end after 8:30pm local time, and players shall be given at least one hour for lunch and dinner each;
  5. Players may only be asked to participate in Club activities for a maximum of ten hours per day including taping and treatment but excluding meal time. 

Voluntary Minicamp

This only applies to teams with a new head coach, so hopefully the 49ers won't have to address this anytime soon. When allowed, the voluntary minicamp must take place prior to the Draft, but no earlier than week three of the offseason workout program. This minicamp is subject to the same rules as the mandatory camp.

Rookie Football Development Program/Rookie minicamp

Teams are allowed to hold a "rookie football development program" for a period of 7 weeks. The CBA says "commencing on or about May 16." That date changes a little each year, and this year, that date is May 12. This is the date that is pertinent to final exams. Most of the 49ers rookies have completed exams, but a handful are still finishing them up.

Kenneth Acker, Kaleb Ramsey and LJ McCray all attended schools where exams finished up on Tuesday. If they were not already graduated, they can start working out now that exams are over. Exams are not an issue for Chris Borland because he graduated in December. Marcus Martin entered the draft early so he has to wait for exams to finish on Wednesday, May 14. Morgan Breslin is listed as "graduated" but I'm not sure if he finished up in the fall, or if he graduated in the spring. New Mexico's Dillon Farrell graduated last spring, and was working on a masters degree this year, so he should be fine to start right away. I still have not figured out Shayne Skov's story for graduation.

The rookie development program only takes place during the week, with an exception for the rookie minicamp, which can take place either the first or second weekend following the Draft.


Veterans: A veteran attending a minicamp receives meal allowance (set in Article 34, section 1), travel expenses to and from the camp, housing if coming from out of town, and a per diem at the following rates (based on league year): $925 (2013-14 League Years), $1,000 (2015-16 League Years), $1,075 (2017-18 League Years), $1,150 (2019-20 LeagueYears) .

First year players: A 1st year player is not a rookie, but rather has not earned a credited season of service. The best example of this would be practice squad players. These players receive what veterans receive, but the per diem is at a pro-rated basis.

Rookies: Is not entitled to compensation for his participation in any minicamp, other than the reimbursements or payments permitted under "the Club's Rookie Orientation Program". Under Article 7, Section 5(d), this includes (1) a round-trip airline ticket or cash equivalent from the player's place of residence to the Club city and back, not to exceed $1,500; (2) room and board or its equivalent of up to $145 per day, up to a maximum of 60 days; and (3) ground transportation to and from the player's place of residence in the Club's city to the Club's facility.

The 49ers have that rookie program, so they'd be using this.