With free agency, the full preseason and regular season schedules released, as well as the 2017 NFL Draft in the books, the Chicago Bears have now officially released their offseason program and camps schedule before the upcoming season. The schedule release including all dates and times of games and other promotions offers a bird’s eye view of a new season for Chicago, as a note.
These announcements and events come in waves, evidently.
Now that their roster for competition in organized team activities and camps is more or less in tow, here’s the schedule of the Bears offseason lead-up to September.
The collective bargaining agreement dictates that each team’s purely “voluntary” (at your own risk) be conducted into three phases.
Phase One focuses on activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation. The Bears have already finished this part of the program started on April 18th.
Phase Two is the following three weeks where on-field workouts may include individual player drills and teaching as well as practice conducted “separately.” Quite obviously, no live contact or team drills are allowed.
The final part in Phase Three is the official start of organized team activities and the last month of the overall program. No live contact is permitted still, but now 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills can be conducted to begin team cohesion.
There are some stipulations that clubs can allow for “voluntary” minicamps for rookies and veterans in developmental seven-week programs. That’s on an organization by organization basis, though, and only five teams did that this year. Chicago was not in that group.
Overall, this is the same timeline that every NFL team, not just the Bears, follows.
Now here’s the program fully outlined leading up to Chicago’s training camp in the late summer, which the Bears announced starts on July 26th in Bourbonnais, Illinois (as usual).
“OTA” offseason workouts: May 22-23, May 25, May 30, June 1-2, June 5-6, June 8-9
Rookie Minicamp: May 12-14
Mandatory Minicamp: June 13-15
Everything is now set into place as the Bears begin preparation for the 2017 season and their opener at home against the Atlanta Falcons on September 10th.
Robert Zeglinski is the Bears beat writer for the Rock River Times and is a staff writer for Windy City Gridiron. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.