With the 2018 NFL Draft just a few weeks away, there’s another fairly important event coming up for the Minnesota Vikings (and 31 other less important NFL franchises). Yes, it’s nearly time for the start of the offseason program, and the NFL has announced the dates for the offseason programs for all of the teams.
As always, the offseason program takes place in three phases.
- Phase One covers the first two weeks of the offseason program and is limited to strength and conditioning work (or rehab work, for those still dealing with injuries).
- Phase Two covers the next three weeks of the offseason program. During this time, on-field instruction and drills can take place, and units can practice together (ie the offense can practice as a unit and the defense can practice as a unit). There are no live “offensive vs defense” drills and contact isn’t permitted.
- Phase Three covers Organized Team Activities (OTAs). Each team is allowed ten days of OTAs, and during those times teams can do 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 drills. Once again, no contact is permitted during the OTAs. Each team can hold one mandatory mini-camp for veteran players, and that occurs during Phase Three of the program as well.
For the Vikings, the offseason program gets underway on 16 April, which is two weeks from today. The Vikings have had pretty high levels of participation in the offseason program during past years, and I wouldn’t expect that this year would be any different.
As far as OTAs, those will take place from 22-24 May, 29-31 May, and 4-7 June. The team’s mandatory veteran mini-camp will take place from 12-14 June.
After that, it’s nothing but a waiting game until Training Camp starts. Although the team hasn’t officially announced a date for the first ever camp in Eagan to start, I would imagine that players would report right around 27 July. That’s the last Friday of the month, which I believe is the time that they’ve reported in most years.
Hopefully we’ll get some kind of news. . .positive news. . .coming out of Eagan for this year’s offseason program. Whatever there is, we’ll have it for you right here.