To the extent that this is the sssslow period, it won’t be slow for much longer. The league has posted all of the dates on which training camps open at NFLLabor.com, and the first camp opens in 38 days, on July 24.
The honor goes to the Cowboys, who’ll be playing the Bengals in the Hall of Fame game. The Bengals open four days later, on July 28.
Teams may get started two weeks before their first preseason game.
While it’s arguably a bonus to play in the annual Canton game (which will be televised by NBC), the early opening of Camp Cowboy makes it less likely that first-round wideout Dez Bryant will be present when the process starts. His agent, Eugene Parker, has had only one of 18 first-rounders signed on time.
Also, to the extent that Parker will be reluctant to agree to terms for Bryant, the 24th overall pick, until the 23rd and 25th selections have agreed to terms, the fact that the Cowboys open camp before the Packers (who took Bryan Bulaga at No. 23) and the Broncos (who took Tim Tebow at No. 25) makes it less likely that Bryant will be bracketed. Moreover, Parker likely will want to see what receiver Demaryius Thomas gets from the Broncos at No. 22, in the hopes of then leapfrogging the slot, just as Parker tried (unsuccessfully) to do on behalf of receiver Michael Crabtree in 2009.