Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

49ers, NFL teams can begin Phase 1 of OTAs on April 19

Mar 30, 2021 at 11:16 AM--

The NFL has informed teams that they can begin Phase 1 of organized team activities (OTAs) on Monday, April 19, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. There remains some uncertainty over how the offseason program might look given the impact of COVID-19. How much will be in-person versus virtual?

General manager John Lynch discussed the offseason uncertainty while speaking with reporters on Monday.

"Yeah, I think that's a question that every team is very eager to find out, as are the players," Lynch said. "What's this offseason going to look like? I think Kyle's been a part of the steering committee in terms of coaches on what they need out of an offseason. So, the league's working hard.

"It's in the CBA that there will be an offseason. Obviously, with COVID, things can be affected and adjusted. I know they're working hard, the league and the union, coming up with the right formula, but that, as far as we know, still hasn't been decided as of yet. There's a lot of ideas what might happen, and as Kyle said earlier, I think all those things go into the equation."

Phase 1 typically includes two weeks of strength and conditioning work. Of course, last year's offseason was very limited as most of the work was conducted virtually. Players didn't assemble in an official capacity until training camp at the end of July.

"A lot of players suffered last year, a lot of young players, not just rookies," Lynch continued. "It's hard to improve in this league when you don't have an offseason. That's an integral part of improvement, is opportunity, is reps. For some of the older players, maybe not as important, but for young players, offseasons are critical.

"So, we hope we have that opportunity with our players. We understand the league's working hard to come up with the best situation, along with the union, and looking forward to some clarity here soon on what that's going to look like."

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