Here is what you need to know on this Monday, May 8, 16 days before the Redskins start OTAs on May 24.
It’s been 127 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 125 days.
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 4
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 16
—Training camp starts (7/27) 80
Roster shuffles will continue as rookie camp, OTAs unfold
The players have been on the field at Redskins Park for a few weeks now but they have been doing conditioning and drills and very little that looks like football. That is going to change this week.
Rookie camp, May 12-14—This is about the 10 draft picks, the eight undrafted free agent signees and as many as 50 tryout players. It’s easy to see that the tryout players are under tremendous pressure. For them, it’s a chance to get a chance. They will get a few precious reps over the three days to show that they deserve a contract, a chance to participate in OTAs later this month. But the undrafted players who are under contract also are under the microscope. If the staff sees a tryout player outperform an undrafted signee, the contract can be terminated and the player on tryout can take that roster spot.
Organized team activities (OTAs), starting May 24—OTAs will run on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for three consecutive weeks. The practices will be open to the media for the Wednesday practices each week. During this phase of the offseason program the offense and defense can run plays against each other, although no contact is allowed. There may be some additional roster shuffling here if some of the undrafted rookies show that they can’t cut it when going up against the seasoned pros. Attendance for these sessions is voluntary; sometimes the best thing that can happen to a rookie hopeful is for a veteran at his position to take a week off, giving the rookie a chance to get snaps with the first or second unit.
Minicamp, June 13-15—This is a lot like OTAs but attendance is mandatory. It’s also a last chance to impress the coaches before the players scatter for six weeks prior to the start of training camp. Remember that even for players who are extreme long shots to make the 53-man roster there is a chance at one of the 10 practice squad spots. That doesn’t pay as well ($7,000 per week during the season compared to over $27,000 per week on a rookie minimum deal) but it is the proverbial foot in the door.
Training camp, starting July 27—This is when the competition gets real as the pads go on and the physical and mental grind that simulates and NFL season gets underway. Injuries become a factor and the scouts are scanning the waiver wire for replacements and upgrades.
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