Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs for a touchdown during their 20-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville Jan. 10, 2021.

Titans Ravens 111

QB Lamar Jackson reports to Ravens minicamp

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson reported Monday and will take part in the team’s mandatory minicamp this week.

Jackson, 25, made waves when he elected to skip the team’s voluntary organized team activities last month, fueling speculation that he intends to leave the Ravens. Jackson is entering the final year of his rookie contract and has not yet engaged the team in contract talks. Jackson represents himself.

Jackson is set to play the 2022 season on his fifth-year option worth $23.016 million. That annual average salary is 15th in the NFL among quarterbacks, according to Spotrac. Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be traded by the 49ers but has a 2022 salary of more than $25 million.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta said following the NFL draft that the team is prepared to negotiate with Jackson but that contract talks were not a priority at the time. Jackson said his only focus is the Super Bowl.

Jackson had a combined 18 interceptions over his first three seasons before throwing 13 picks in 12 games in 2021. He had 16 touchdown passes last season, a steep decline from his 2019 MVP total of 36.

He had 767 rushing yards and two touchdowns last season after back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

–Field Level Media

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield laughs as he watches his teammates warm up before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Cleveland.

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Browns excuse Baker Mayfield from minicamp

The Cleveland Browns on Wednesday excused quarterback Baker Mayfield from attending next week’s mandatory minicamp.

Per the Browns, it was a “mutual decision and best for both parties.”

The veteran quarterback will not be subject to fines for missing the mandatory session.

Cleveland has been attempting to find a trade partner for Mayfield since acquiring Deshaun Watson in March.

Mayfield, 27, is due a fully guaranteed salary of $18.86 million in 2022, the final season of his rookie contract.

The sticking point in trade talks reportedly has been how much of that salary the Browns are willing to cover.

Mayfield has not attended any of Cleveland’s voluntary workouts this offseason.

Mayfield is 29-30 as a starter since the Browns made him the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. He has completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 14,125 yards, 92 touchdowns and 56 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Jan 22, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) in action against the Green Bay Packers during a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: 49ers excuse QB Jimmy Garoppolo from minicamp

The San Francisco 49ers excused quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from this week’s mandatory minicamp, multiple outlets reported Monday.

Garoppolo, 30, is recovering from surgery in March on his right shoulder.

The team is said to be waiting for him to receive a clean bill of health before potentially trading him, with second-year quarterback Trey Lance expected to be the 2022 starter.

Garoppolo has been absent from voluntary organized team activities, but could have been fined for not attending the mandatory full-squad minicamp.

Garoppolo carries a $26.95 million cap hit for 2022, the final season of a five-year, $137.5 million deal he signed with San Francisco in February 2018.

He went 9-6 as the starter last season, completing 68.3 percent of his passes for 3,810 yards with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, was 1-1 as a starter. The 22-year-old passed for 603 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions and rushed for 168 yards and one score in six appearances.

–Field Level Media

May 25, 2021; Santa Clara, CA, USA;  San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) warms up during Organized Team Activities at San Francisco 49ers Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Texans, 49ers are latest NFL teams to cancel mandatory minicamps

Multiple NFL teams have now canceled minicamps this offseason, with the 49ers and Texans joining the Eagles and Colts as teams officially giving those workouts a miss.

Each team made its decision public this week, citing slightly different reasons (though they came down to player health).

In Houston, Texans head coach David Culley pointed at the team’s participation in voluntary workouts as a reason to remove mandatory minicamp from the schedule.

“We needed to make sure for at least four weeks during the offseason we had as many players here as possible,” Culley told USA Today.

The 49ers had more of a strict timetable in mind, seeking at least 40 days rest for their players.

“We kinda decided a while ago we weren’t gonna do minicamp,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I like the guys to get away for 40 days, and we started a week later this year than usual – the whole league did — so they only would’ve gotten away for 32 days, and I think that does add up.”

Mandatory minicamp workouts are ongoing in other locations throughout the league.

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and quarterback Jordan Love (10) are shown Monday, August 17, 2020, during training camp in Green Bay, Wis.

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Aaron Rodgers a no-show at Packers minicamp

Those holding out hope for a resolution to the Aaron Rodgers standoff with the Green Bay Packers are out of luck.

Rodgers is not present at the team’s mandatory minicamp, which began Tuesday morning with team meetings.

The 38-year-old quarterback is entangled in a tense holdout he said is tied to the team’s management of the roster and communication with the front office.

Rodgers has told members of the organization he wants a trade and will not play in Green Bay again.

But team president Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst insist there’s no trade coming for the reigning NFL MVP, despite inquiries from multiple teams, including the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos.

With Rodgers staying away — he’s been training in California and recently vacationed in Hawaii — the Packers are using 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love at quarterback with the first-team offense.

If he sticks to his holdout stance or retires, Rodgers has a base salary of $14.7 million in 2021 he’d forfeit. He could also be forced to pay back previously earned bonuses.

Because the minicamp is mandatory, Rodgers is subject to daily fines for each absence this week.

–Field Level Media

June 5, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones stretches with the team during minicamp.  Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK

NFL announces offseason program dates for all 32 teams

The NFL announced the dates Thursday for the offseason workout programs for each of the 32 teams.

Still, it is unclear how many players will attend the voluntary portion of the program — the OTAs. They players on about 20 teams have indicated they won’t attend voluntary OTAs due to continuing concerns about safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases. Phase One (April 19-May 14) has been extended this year from two to four weeks, with activities limited to strength and conditioning, virtual meetings and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase Two (May 17-21) has been reduced from three weeks to one week. The phase allows for on-field workouts, including individual player instruction and drills, “perfect play” drills, and drills and plays conducted with offensive players lining up across from offensive players and defensive players lining up across from defensive players. Players on one side of the ball may execute a play, but players on the opposite side of the ball may not make contact.

In Phase Three (May 24-June 18), teams can conduct in-person meetings and classroom instruction subject to COVID-19 testing and other protocols. Teams may hold a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity without live contact.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement allows for one mandatory minicamp for veterans and a rookie football development program.

The dates for each team’s offseason workout program are as follows. They are tentative and subject to change.

ARIZONA CARDINALS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

ATLANTA FALCONS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 14-17
Mandatory minicamp: June 8-10
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

BALTIMORE RAVENS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 7-8, June 10-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

BUFFALO BILLS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-2, June 4, June 7-8, June 10-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

CAROLINA PANTHERS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

CHICAGO BEARS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

CINCINNATI BENGALS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14

CLEVELAND BROWNS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

DALLAS COWBOYS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1, June 3-4
Mandatory minicamp: June 8-10
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

DENVER BRONCOS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-2, June 4, June 7-8, June 10-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

DETROIT LIONS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 14-17
Mandatory minicamp: June 8-10
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

GREEN BAY PACKERS
offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-2, June 4, June 7-8, June 10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-15

HOUSTON TEXANS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24, May 26-27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-8, June 10-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 7-9

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24, May 26-27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 8-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 7-9

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 2-4, June 7-8, June 10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-16
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

LOS ANGELES RAMS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

MIAMI DOLPHINS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-26, June 1-3, June 7-8, June 10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

MINNESOTA VIKINGS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-26, June 1-3, June 8-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-8, June 10-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

NEW YORK GIANTS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 2-4, June 14-15
Mandatory minicamp: June 8-10
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

NEW YORK JETS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24, May 26-27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-8, June 10-11
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 7-9

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 2-4, June 14-17
Mandatory minicamp: June 8-10
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

PITTSBURGH STEELERS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1-2, June 4, June 7-8, June 10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24, May 26-27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 14-17
Mandatory minicamp: June 7-9
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

TENNESSEE TITANS
OTA offseason workouts: May 24-25, May 27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-16

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
OTA offseason workouts: May 25-27, June 1-3, June 8-10
Mandatory minicamp: June 15-17
Rookie minicamp: May 14-15

–Field Level Media

What's up next for the Rookies?

The 2015 NFL Draft was completed two weeks ago. With the draft behind us, what is up next for the rookies who were either drafted or signed as undrafted free agents?
Most clubs had a rookie mini-camp last weekend. There are still a few teams that will hold the rookie camp this weekend. The players each team drafted and signed as free agents attend these camps as well as numerous other players who are attending on a tryout basis. A club can have as many as 90 players under contract during the offseason, so for many clubs, they could possibly sign five or six players who were competing on a tryout basis.
Starting this weekend, the rookies can begin taking part in the offseason programs if exams have ended at their school. If the school they attended is still in session, and if the player hasn’t already graduated, he cannot participate in any off the off season sessions until that is complete. Most schools that use a semester system are now finished, schools on a quarterly system are sometimes in session until mid – June. The players from these schools cannot take part in the off season program or OTA’s.
As we saw at many of the different rookie camps, several rookies are not in the condition needed to make it through the various practices. When they begin taking part in the offseason programs, they will get back into football shape fairly quickly.
The offseason programs include weight-room activities, classroom learning and on-the-field instruction. These offseason sessions usually last four days a week (Monday through Thursday) with Friday being a makeup day for a daily session missed.
In addition to weight room and on-field instruction, each rookie goes through an orientation program set up and run by the club’s player development staff. The program can include lectures on finance, finding a place to live, and how to act in public as a member of an NFL team. The program can also set up field trips to get the players acclimated to the area in which they will soon live.
At the end of June, all drafted players are required to attend the rookie symposium. This event lasts four or five says and deals with some of the same things that the orientation deals with, including how to be and act like a professional. Many current and former players will speak at the symposium and relate to the rookies the experiences they went through as rookies. Some have of sad stories to tell as the rookie experience isn’t always a pleasant one.
OTAs
Beginning in late May or early June, clubs will begin to have OTAs (organized team activities) practices. A team can have as many as 12 of these sessions, and they are much like mini-camp practices. A practice can last about 90 minutes to almost two hours in length. During the practices, there are individual periods where each positional group goes through drills designed to teach certain techniques. There are also installation periods where the offensive and defensive plays are installed and team periods when the offense goes against the defense. These are highly intense periods, but they are supposed to be non-contact. Players wear helmets but no shoulder pads, so the chance of injury is strong if there was any contact.
It is during these practices that rookies are catching up to the veterans so to speak in learning the offensive and defensive schemes. The rookies who are able to learn and retain the best are the ones that get on the field the earliest. There is one thing certain about NFL coaches. They play the players they trust, and they trust the players who don’t make mental mistakes. If a rookie doesn’t know or understand the system, he’d better stay after practice and try and learn it. Failure to learn and understand the scheme is a sure way to get cut. Rare physical talent can buy a player some time, but NFL coaches are not known for their patience. A players job is to know and understand what is going on.
Rookies and veterans usually have about four weeks “off” between the end of the off season program and the beginning of training camp. Rest assured, they aren’t really off. Though they aren’t using the clubs facilities to train, they’d better find a way to stay in football condition, as once camp opens, the coaches don’t wait for players not in top shape.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe