It’s OTA time. Otherwise known as Organized Team Activities, it’s basically practice without pads. But they don’t call it practice because the term was coined at a time when practice in the offseason was nearly as intense practice in the preseason/regular season, but without pads.
Under the climate created by the 2011 labor deal, the OTAs became far less intense and extensive. They nevertheless remain the centerpiece of the offseason program, giving teams a chance to implement their offensive and defensive playbooks, and to commence the process of figuring out who will earn roster spots and starting jobs. So when players who are under contract choose not to show up for these technically voluntary sessions, it’s noteworthy.
In Philadelphia, where defensive end Brandon Graham has made it clear that he wants a new deal, Graham is expected to show up, according to Tim McManus of ESPN.com. However, as Graham recovers from a May 1 ankle procedure, he’s not expected to participate in the practices.
The Eagles had been trying at times during the 2017 season to get Graham to extend his deal, but the terms weren’t deemed to be sufficiently favorable to Graham to result in an agreement. With Graham now one year away from free agency or the franchise tag, the Eagles may have a greater degree of urgency to get something done.