Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden is somewhere pumping his fist right about now.
NFL Media reported on Tuesday that the league has informed all teams that OTAs can begin on April 19. While nothing is set in stone, the current hope is for the OTA sessions to be in-person and not virtual as was the case last year. Team meetings will very likely be conducted virtually for the second straight offseason, however.
This means no head start for teams with new head coaches, who normally could’ve started OTAs Monday. But unlike a year ago, some players have already been working out in team facilities, and there’s hope for practices this spring, even if meetings remain virtual indefinitely.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 30, 2021
Gruden has been vocal about his disdain for the virtual offseason, which of course, became necessary in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. He was outspoken in his support of bringing back an in-person offseason even though the NFLPA has been lobbying to keep this offseason completely virtual.
While there are still more details to be ironed out, there appears to be a strong chance that Raiders will have most of their players (the offseason is mostly voluntary) in less than three weeks.
It’s starting to feel like football season.