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Arik Armstead will miss 49ers entire offseason workout program due to stupid NFL rule

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The San Francisco 49ers will have to wait until training camp to see where Arik Armstead is at, and what he might bring to the table this season. And it's all due to a stupid NFL rule.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers invested a first round draft pick in Arik Armstead, a player who has a lot of upside, but is fairly raw in certain aspects of his game. There is talent there, but he will need plenty of work with the coaches to really fulfill that promise. Unfortunately, that practice will not be happening until training camp. Armstead confirmed with Matt Barrowswhat we kind of knew: he cannot join the team until June 12 because of Oregon's academic calendar, and the 49ers final day of mandatory minicamp is June 11.

I did some digging on this last week, and it according to the NFLPA, this rule is a part of the Player Personnel Handbook the league unilaterally issues to the players. It has not been collectively bargained to date, but instead is a rule the league has decided.

The rule seems fairly antiquated, but I could see one possible reason why the NFL keeps the rule in place. The league gets essentially a free minor league system with college football. Players cannot enter the NFL Draft until three years after they finished high school, and so players go to college to play football until they can enter the draft. I could see this rule being one way the NFL throws a bone to the NCAA, which in turn is part of the NCAA's attempt to pretend academics actually matter for some of their student athletes.

Most college athletes will not become professional athletes, but there are obviously plenty that will move on to a professional league and make some good money. Some players will finish their degrees, others will not. Cam Newton was actually back in school this summer finishing up his degree. It remains to be seen if Armstead will as well, but it is a little odd that he should have to miss the entire offseason workout program because of this rule.

It sounds like Armstead is able to remain sufficiently busy getting ready as best he can. He told Barrows he is getting in a couple workouts a day, while also doing playbook studying. The 49ers playbook is on a tablet, and the team can upload practice video for him to review. Other than that, he said it was about learning new terms for what is a fairly similar defense to what he ran at Oregon. It is far from ideal, but at least it provides something for him to keep busy and productive.