Every offseason, we’ve got the opportunity to talk about minicamp and OTAs. That hasn’t been the case this year as the coronavirus pandemic has greatly affected the NFL’s offseason schedule. Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported Tuesday morning 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.
Robinson said that if coaches resume their in-house work next week, minicamps could be scheduled as early as June 15 or as late as June 27, depending on the coronavirus data and whether a handful of franchises get a “go ahead” signal from state governments stating they can resume full operations. The biggest hurdle? California Governor Gavin Newsom. Robinson’s league source said Newsom would serve as a key hurdle in whether the NFL can pull off a fully operational minicamp in June without any fans in attendance. If Newsom opens the way for full team operations, the NFL could give each franchisee the option of holding a minicamp sometime in June then set a date for training camp, per Robinson.
It’ll all come down to Newsom, though, who said, “a number of other sectors of our economy will open up again if we hold these trend lines in the next number of weeks” on May 18. The NFLPA would likely have to sign-off on any activities that involve players. The San Francisco 49ers held their minicamp during the second week of June in 2019. If there is a later start this year, could that mean training camp is pushed later into August? These are the possible discussions that will go on. With the way most states are trending, and how Newsom has changed his tune, my guess is that there will be minicamp in June. Where the Niners hold their camp is an entirely different conversation.