Nearly a month after Kyle Shanahan announced he was cutting the 49ers' Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and canceling mandatory minicamp short, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday that the NFL Management Council ordered the team to cancel the final week of OTAs due to unspecified violations.
On June 9th, Shanahan announced that he and the coaching staff had gotten enough accomplished that the players could start their summer break early. He went into detail on why he felt comfortable canceling a week's worth of practices including minicamp.
“We’re totally done. We really finished up our exit meetings today, really with everybody. We’re still going to keep the rookies around here for a little bit, some more than others. I kind of decided a while ago we weren’t going to do minicamp.
"You know, I rarely do minicamp when we get nine OTAs in, we usually do one practice and then we have like a team building thing throughout that. And kind of decided earlier in this, if we could get our OTAs in I wasn’t going to keep them for minicamp because it’s a week longer than usual. 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 have gone away for like 32 days.
"I think that does add up. So we had such a big turnout too, having 89 guys here and getting seven OTA practices in I felt great about it. You know, my plan was to get eight. And I was going to surprise them on Thursday and take everyone bowling. But after our seventh practice with those two injuries and just the aura it gave to it, I wasn’t going to come back and do one more just to do one more. So I surprised them on day eight instead of day nine.”
On June 10th the 49ers were forced to cancel the remainder of their rookie development program due to a violation of offseason work rules, in which evidence was posted on social media. While the contact made between players was not severe, it still violated the strict rules of offseason work.
On Wednesday, during the 49ers' State of the Franchise event, Shanahan reiterated his satisfaction with the work the players and team accomplished during their abbreviated offseason program/OTAs.
Having nearly 100 percent player attendance throughout OTAs proved to be much more productive than in 2020, when the first time he saw players after their Super Bowl appearance was at training camp near the end of July. Shanahan felt confident enough in the work they did to surprise players with an early summer dismissal.
One day later, reports surfaced that the team would be fined $100,000 while Shanahan himself would be fined $50,000 for undisclosed violations that occurred during OTAs.
The 49ers released this statement:
“The health and safety of our players is our highest priority, and we take following league rules very seriously. We will continue to work with the NFL and the NFLPA to ensure compliance.”
Less than an hour following the team’s statement, Schefter reported the NFL Management Council’s order.
While Shanahan appears to have canceled the last week of OTAs and the team's three-day mandatory minicamp of his own volition, learning of the league's order could have been an influence.
The head coach is not set to speak to the media until training camp begins at the end of July.