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NFL, NFLPA agree to virtual offseason program

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Rules are set for the online offseason program during COVID-19

NFL: JAN 30 Super Bowl LIV - NFLPA Press Conference Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing teams from starting offseason plans, the league and its players have agreed upon a new strategy.

The NFL and the NFLPA agreed to a voluntary offseason program, both ESPN and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported.

The virtual period of the program can begin April 20 for teams like the New York Giants with a new head coach. Teams with returning head coaches may begin a week later. No on-field work is allowed until all 32 club facilities can reopen. All offseason work aside from mandatory June minicamp is voluntary for players.

Team facilities will only open if all the other 31 teams are able to do so. Otherwise, all will remain closed.

“The term that kept coming up was ‘reasonable and responsible in the current climate,’” said the NFL’s executive VP for football operations, Troy Vincent, on a conference call with reporters Monday night.

The virtual portion of the offseason will consist of three weeks of classroom instruction, workouts and non-football educational programs via videoconference.

Pelissero also reported that an additional voluntary veteran camp will be allowed for new coaches like Joe Judge of the Giants, with the virtual period ending no later than May 15.

If club facilities do not reopen by June 26 teams can hold a virtual mandatory veteran minicamp, with two hours of classroom time and two hours of workout time.