The NFL Offseason, if that’s even a thing these days, officially begins this week. The New York Jets opened their facilities to players on Monday, while the New York Giants will open their doors today. The offseason will run for the next nine weeks. The program is “voluntary” but almost every player to a man under contract usually attends.
Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.
Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.
Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.
The Jets will hold their ten OTA sessions at their Florham Park headquarters on May 23-25, 30-31, June 1,June 5-8. They will conduct their veteran minicamp, which is mandatory, from June 13-15.
The Giants will also host their minicamp on June 13-15 and will conduct their OTAs at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center adjacent to MetLife Stadium on May 22-23, May 25, May 30-31, June 2, June 5-6, June 8-9.
Each team will be permitted to host a rookie development program for a period of seven weeks, which in 2017 may begin on May 15. During this period, no activities may be held on weekends, with the exception of one post-NFL Draft rookie minicamp, which may be conducted on either the first or second weekend following the draft.
The Jets players filtered into their faculty on Monday but were not made accessible to the media. Instead, the team released a slew of canned comments from players (which were sanitized) to the beat reporters. Many media members felt slighted.
Dom Consetino of deadspin.com was critical of the team’s lack of transparency in the matter.
“The resulting quotes (or “quotes”) were exactly what you would expect to get from a team public-relations department interviewing (or “interviewing”) that team’s athletes—an almost flawlessly bland and content-free collection of non-statements on non-subjects ranging from how good it was to get some time off to how great it is to be back.”
The Giants will open their facility to the media on Thursday, which will be highlighted by GM Jerry Reese’s annual pre-draft presser. And although Reese is known to be guarded in his speeches, responses and interactions with the media, at least the Giants are giving the press access to the team.
This latest low-balling of the media by the Jets is another broken olive branch from an organization that hasn’t been able to get many things right of late. They know the media will have a plethora of difficult questions for them this spring, and instead of meeting those questions head on, the Jets are deciding to stonewall reporters for the time being until they can figure a few things out.