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Rookies can be required to report as early as July 5

Some of you have noticed that rookies are required to report for training camp before the veteran players.  Some of those some of you have asked us to explain how that can be. 

None of us knew.

So we looked into it.  And we learned that the only guiding principle in this regard comes from the league’s Player Personnel manual, which states that clubs may not open training camp for rookies prior to July 5.

As to veteran players, the earliest date on which camp may begin is July 15, or 15 days before the team’s first preseason game, whichever is later.  (The July 15 limitation does not apply to the participants in the Hall of Fame game.)

This year, 23 of the teams did not ask rookies to show up before veterans.  Of the nine who staggered the dates (Browns, Ravens, Broncos, Patriots, Jets, Chargers, Eagles, Rams, 49ers), Cleveland had the longest gap, at a full seven days. 

While coaches want all of the rookies signed before the rookie-reporting date, a league source explained that G.M.’s and agents regard the true deadline as the date on which the veterans must report.

Thus, even though three teams have opened camp for rookies (Cleveland on Friday and the Pats and Chargers today) and none have signed their first-round picks, the three players in question aren’t generally viewed to be holdouts by anyone but the men charged with getting them ready to make contributions in their first years on the job.

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14 Responses to “Rookies can be required to report as early as July 5”
  1. scrapdawg12 says: Jul 25, 2010 7:13 PM

    they need to do away with this holdout situation for rookies and veterans. If a veteran holds out even one day, they should lose that years salary. If a rookie holds out, they shall not be able to engage in contract demands until after next years draft has completed and they will not be entered back into the draft either.

  2. dafish says: Jul 25, 2010 7:43 PM

    scrapdawg,
    If you worked a career with a short shelf life such as the NFL I doubt you’d feel the same way.

  3. todd bennett says: Jul 25, 2010 7:43 PM

    Being its July 28th …. do we have a problem Houston ?

  4. JasonW says: Jul 25, 2010 8:29 PM

    scrapdawg12 says:
    July 25, 2010 7:13 PM
    they need to do away with this holdout situation for rookies and veterans. If a veteran holds out even one day, they should lose that years salary. If a rookie holds out, they shall not be able to engage in contract demands until after next years draft has completed and they will not be entered back into the draft either.
    That might be the dumbest thing I have ever read.

  5. 49er Man says: Jul 25, 2010 8:36 PM

    Good luck getting the union to agree to that.

  6. hrmlss says: Jul 25, 2010 8:45 PM

    agreed, Riker, Make it so.

  7. robert ethen says: Jul 25, 2010 8:51 PM

    Typical Dez Bryant, shows up 20 days late.

  8. HarrisonHits says: Jul 25, 2010 10:06 PM

    “If you worked a career with a short shelf life such as the NFL I doubt you’d feel the same way.”
    @dafish, so because someone chooses to be an entertainer for a few years they should be entitled to never have to work again in their lives ? Or be able to blatantly disregard contracts they signed as little as a year ago ?
    No, they should have to live with the results of their career choice and be prepared to do something to justify their existence for the rest of their life if they don’t want to be smart with their NFL money.
    Since most players are idiots and blow what they get on cars, big houses, bling, their possies and partying instead of saving and investing it wisely, they get what they deserve if they don’t last in the league and don’t have any of their NFL money left.

  9. JasonW says: Jul 25, 2010 10:24 PM

    HarrisonHits says:
    July 25, 2010 10:06 PM
    “If you worked a career with a short shelf life such as the NFL I doubt you’d feel the same way.”
    @dafish, so because someone chooses to be an entertainer for a few years they should be entitled to never have to work again in their lives ? Or be able to blatantly disregard contracts they signed as little as a year ago ?
    No, they should have to live with the results of their career choice and be prepared to do something to justify their existence for the rest of their life if they don’t want to be smart with their NFL money.
    Since most players are idiots and blow what they get on cars, big houses, bling, their possies and partying instead of saving and investing it wisely, they get what they deserve if they don’t last in the league and don’t have any of their NFL money left.
    So what about when a player sign a 6 year deal and gets cut after 2? If the owners don’t honor the deal then why should the players?

  10. Fogs77 says: Jul 25, 2010 10:44 PM

    @harrisonhits and Scrapdog
    You two need a reality adjustmant.
    In regards to veterans not reporting: NFL contracts are FRONT-LOADED and extended multiple years because it helps teams with the salary cap. Both the players and teams almost always have the understanding at singing that the contract will be re-negotiated before the end of the conract. The team is protected because they can always cut a player at any time. The players only protection if the contract plays out is if they hold out for a fair contract. There are a few decent players that will play these contracts out, (like Tom Brady for instance, who will play for 3MM this year and if he gets hurt might never make another dime in his life) but most players are just protecting there family and their future by not playing the last year of a contract at a ridiculous dollar figure, so they can get hurt and never play again.
    In regards to rookies – Wake up. Negotiations go two ways. They have every right in the world to take as long as they want to negotiate something they think is fair. That is why scouting these players are so important. Teams know what players might hold out and what agents are notorious for it. They draft at their own risk.
    The scenarios you both mention are moronic.

  11. robert ethen says: Jul 26, 2010 1:36 AM

    32 G.M.’s around the league are slapping their foreheads and saying, “Damn, NOW Florio decides to tell us!”.

  12. Zero says: Jul 26, 2010 9:48 AM

    Last time I checked it is pre-season doesn’t start within 15 days of July 5th. So don’t you mean August 5th? Kind of a big mistake considering the whole article is about it.

  13. ZombieRevolution says: Jul 26, 2010 10:48 AM

    “None of us knew.”
    No surprise to PFT readers. This site rocks for NFL news, takes on contracts and soapbox speeches, but when it comes to technical knowledge of the NFL of any type this site needs a ex-NFL scout/GM/coach/player with some actual NFL experience.

  14. thumper/ says: Jul 26, 2010 11:16 AM

    OK rookies, piss off the coach and you’ll be picking up tarballs on the gulf shores for $12 bucks an hour…………

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