After bringing in 14 players either via free agency or trade over the course of this month, the New England Patriots will look a lot different in 2021. This also means that the organization has plenty of work ahead to get everybody up to speed and build a team able to take a step in the right direction after last season’s disappointing 7-9 finish.
Luckily, it seems as if the Patriots will be able to kick off this process in as early as three weeks. According to a report by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the NFL informed its clubs on Tuesday that they will be able to begin the first phase of their offseason workout programs on April 19.
The voluntary Phase One workouts do not include any team work, but rather focus exclusively on strength and conditioning as well as rehabilitation. In a typical offseason, those sessions would be followed by voluntary and rookie minicamps as well as organized team activities and mandatory minicamp. The offseason program would conclude in June, with players then getting a month off before training camp.
How this year’s schedule will look like beyond this first phase remains to be seen, however. The NFL and the NFLPA will continue to discuss a detailed plan about how to tackle meetings and on-field work in the age of Covid-19.
The first report about offseason workouts starting on April 19 is still an encouraging one, though.
The Patriots, meanwhile, have already been trying to get work done inside and outside their facility so far this offseason.
Some rehabbing players visited Gillette Stadium regularly since season’s end, while others took to the practice fields to start working together. The latter group was led by quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who organized workout sessions in Southern California last week. Those sessions also featured fellow QB Cam Newton, as well as free agency additions Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, among others.
As for the traditional offseason workout program led by the strength and conditioning staff, the Patriots are traditionally requiring participation for players who want to receive credit towards their contracts’ bonus money stipulations. Numerous members of the team have such workout bonuses in their deals — ranging from $500,000 (offensive tackle Trent Brown) to as little as the $15,000 (cornerback Dee Virgin).