Summer break is officially over, at least for the New England Patriots’ first-year players. The rookies currently under contract with the team are set to report to training camp on Tuesday to go through physicals and the pre-camp acclimation period.
The Patriots are one of eight NFL teams that have their rookie class report on Tuesday. Two of their AFC East rivals — the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills — will welcome their youngsters that day as well, as will the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints and New York Giants.
As far as the Patriots are concerned, they will open the doors for the following 15 players:
- OL Cole Strange
- WR Tyquan Thornton
- CB Marcus Jones
- CB Jack Jones
- RB Pierre Strong Jr.
- QB Bailey Zappe
- RB Kevin Harris
- DL Sam Roberts
- OL Chasen Hines
- OL Andrew Stueber
- C Kody Russey
- DT LaBryan Ray
- LB DaMarcus Mitchell
- DB Brenden Schooler
- P Jake Julien
The first 10 names on that list — first-rounder Cole Strange through seventh-rounder Andrew Stueber — were all drafted by the Patriots earlier this year. The other five are the remaining undrafted free agents still with the club after rookie long snapper Ross Reiter was released on Monday.
The group includes some intriguing names, to say the least. Strange, for example, appears to be a plug-and-play starter at left guard. Fourth-round cornerback Jack Jones, meanwhile, should be competing for a starting role at cornerback. Chasen Hines and the aforementioned Andrew Stueber, on the other hand, might see the field for the first time after missing offseason workouts for undisclosed reasons.
What they and the rest of their first-year teammates are allowed to do is governed by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. According to the CBA, the start of training camp “shall be limited to physical examinations, meetings, and classroom instruction; no on-field activities shall be permitted other than running and conditioning.”
On-field activities, meanwhile, are defined as conditioning, timing and testing — very much what teams are allowed to do during the first phase of the offseason workout program. The only difference is that all coaches are permitted on the field at this point in time.
Players will also receive “per diem” payments starting on the first day of camp. Strange and other rookies will get a weekly rate of $1,700 for participating in camp.
As for veteran players, they will report to Gillette Stadium next Tuesday. One day later, on July 27, the team will hold its first practice of the summer.