Mike Zimmer is in his first year as head coach of the Vikings, but he's wasting no time in rolling out his plan for his new team. Taking advantage of a provision in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that permits teams with new head coaches to begin their offseason program two weeks ahead of time (April 7), the Vikings will indeed begin their offseason program on Monday; teams with returning head coaches may begin their offseason program on April 21.
The Vikings nine-week voluntary offseason program begins Monday and runs into the middle of June, ending with a mandatory minicamp from June 17-19. This means many Vikings players will be in and around Winter Park for the next couple months preparing and training for the 2014 season.
Under provisions and rules set forth by the CBA, the Vikings offseason program will consist of three phases, with each phase governed by a different set of rules that will regulate the players' interaction with coaches, contact during workouts and drills, and more.
Here's a breakdown of those phases as well as additional important dates during the offseason program:
Phase One-- First two weeks of the offseason program
-- Limited to strength and conditioning, and physical rehab
-- Strength and conditioning coaches only; no position coaches permitted to participate
-- No footballs, exception being quarterbacks may throw to uncovered receivers
-- No helmets permitted
-- Next three weeks of the program
-- All coaches permitted to participate
-- No live contact and no individual or team offense vs. defense
-- "Perfect Play," individual player instruction drills, special teams drills on a "separates" basis
-- No helmets permitted
Phase Three-- Next four weeks of the program
-- 10 Organized Team Activities (OTAs) permitted
-- One mandatory minicamp during week three or four
-- No live contact
-- All coaches permitted on field
-- No individual offense vs. defense permitted
-- Kicking team vs. return team and team offense vs. team defense permitted
-- Helmets permitted
Voluntary Veteran Minicamp: April 28-May1
NFL Draft: May 8-10
Vikings Rookie Minicamp: May 16-18
Organized Team Activities (OTAs): May 28-30; June 3-5; June 9-12
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19
With players returning to Winter Park, you can expect the action to pick up on Vikings Entertainment Network's various platforms, so stay tuned this week and all spring for comprehensive coverage of your favorite team.