American Football

Browns offseason calendar taking shape


NFL: Cleveland Browns OTA
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland will begin building for 2023 in mid-April and start to unleash the team at the Hall of Fame Game in August.

The Cleveland Browns have been busy reshaping the roster this offseason with the addition of several key players in free agency.

On Friday, the NFL announced the offseason workout dates for all 32 teams, giving head coach Kevin Stefanski and the rest of the coaching staff a heads-up about when they will get their first opportunity to start working with the roster.

The Browns can formally begin their nine-week offseason program for players on April 17, with Organized Team Activities taking place on May 23 to May 25 and again from May 30 to June 1.

That will be followed up by the mandatory minicamp from June 6 to June 8.

Because they are playing in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game this year, the Browns and their opponent, the New York Jets, will open training camp a week earlier than usual as they prepare for the game on August 3 in Canton.

That will be the first of four preseason games for the Browns as they prepare for the start of the 2023 regular season, one that will feature quarterback Deshaun Watson for a full season and a revamped defense under veteran defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

The league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFLPA sets the guidelines for the various offseason activities, which are broken down into four parts:

  • Phase One is limited to two weeks and can include meetings, strength and conditioning work, and physical rehabilitation.
  • Phase Two is limited to three weeks and can include on-field workouts, individual or group drills, and offensive and defensive drills held at a walk-through pace. There is no live contact allowed, and teams are also prohibited from running drills pitting the offense vs. the defense.
  • Phase Three, which runs four weeks, is when teams can conduct their Organized Team Activities. Live contact is still off the table, but teams can run drills pitting the offense vs. the defense in 7-on-7, 9-on-9 or 11-on-11 alignments.

The rookies are also allowed in on the fun as teams may conduct a rookie football development program for seven weeks, beginning on May 15. While no activities are permitted on the weekend, teams may hold one rookie minicamp on either the first or second weekend following the 2023 NFL Draft.

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