The NFL could have minicamp style practices as early as June, according to multiple sources who spoke to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports.
“If California is open for [team] operations soon, minicamps can still happen in June — probably late June, I’d think — but maybe even mid-June,” the league source said.
In a move that signals progress for the NFL and gives hope, it's also providing some pressure on California governor Gavin Newsom. That's not a coincidence. Newsom has a decision coming up and has suggested the possibility of opening California for sports without spectators and this is intended to make sure he goes that route.
If Newsom opens the state of California, where the league offices are and a number of teams practice, it could allow the NFL as a whole to open up and allow players to go to the facility and practice, which would be a huge step forward toward starting the regular season on time.
If for some reason Newsom decides not to open the state in early June, it now puts Newsom in the position of being the bad guy. Even if it's in the best interest of the people of his state, it opens the possibility of being viewed as an unpopular move, a buzzkill that won't allow all 32 teams to practice.
The NFL may have contingency plans in place if things go poorly due to COVID-19, but publicly, they are full steam ahead on starting the 2020 season on schedule for week one, intending to play a full 16-game season. It's difficult to imagine this article coming out now doesn't come with the built in purpose of making sure they get what they want and teams can start practicing in June.
UPDATE: NFLA President Responds to Story from Charles Robinson on Twitter.
Specifically responding to Robinson.
General statement from Tretter.
Robinsion defends his article while Tretter continues to point out something he believes is factually important. In other words, while the league could be able to have minicamps in June, it would require the NFLPA to sign off on it, which has not happened to this point.