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NFL extends virtual offseason and officially cancels in-person minicamps

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The league has made final some tweaks to the rest of the offseason while working on plans for the start of training camp.

NFL: JUN 14 Packers Minicamp Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

About two weeks ago, there was optimism across the NFL that in-person minicamps could take place before the end of June. With COVID-19 lockdowns easing up across the country, teams have opened up their facilities to coaching staffs, and it seemed feasible to hold some in-person workouts.

However, the league has made a final decision on those activities, and that decision is that they will not take place. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the league has officially notified teams that no in-person minicamps will happen this summer.

While the in-person portion of the offseason is now officially off, the league has taken steps to allow teams to perform more virtual instruction. In the same report, Pelissero notes that the league is allowing teams to extend virtual meetings for another two weeks, running through June 26th. The offseason was previously scheduled to end on Friday, but now teams may continue conducting formal videoconferences and instruction for another 14 days if they so choose.

In addition, the league and its players have begun discussing the possibility of shortening the preseason this year, especially in the event that training camps start later than usual or that the league takes a more gradual ramp-up in activities after a normal camp start time. The NFL has already worked a two-game reduction in the preseason schedule into the current collective bargaining agreement — that change was expected to take effect in 2021 — but the coronavirus pandemic may implement that change a year early. If that happens, schedules will likely need to be completely revamped so that each team plays one home and one road exhibition game.

While the 2011 offseason had been the strangest in recent memory due to a lockout over the CBA, 2020 continues to put that year to shame.