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Patriots Offseason Workout Dates Set

The New England Patriots have their schedule for the key events of the offseason program

The NFL announced Thursday all the dates for the 2021 offseason program, though some uncertainty remains.

For the New England Patriots, the key dates start with May 14-16, which is when the team will hold its three-day rookie minicamp, and June 15-17, the three-day mandatory minicamp.

That mandatory minicamp is the only thing this offseason that is not voluntary, which never used to be much of an issue until last year when everything went virtual because of COVID-19 and has carried over into this year because of the NFLPA encouraging players to stay away from "voluntary" activities.

Of course, the whole issue of players staying away from facilities has taken a dramatic turn this week because of the situation involving Denver Broncos tackle Ja'Wuan James, who reports indicate sustained a torn Achilles tendon while working out on his own.

The big question now is whether James is going to end up losing about $10 million in guaranteed money because his guarantee injury applied only if the injury occurred at the team facility.

Organized Team Activities (OTAs) is another aspect of the offseason that hasn't changed, as it once again will take place over four weeks.

The Patriots dates for their OTAs are May 24-25, May 27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-8 and June 10.

The Patriots and the rest of the NFL currently are in Phase One in the offseason program, which this year went from two to four weeks. That phase, which includes strength and conditioning, virtual meetings and physical rehabilitation, will last until May 14.

It's unclear how many players on the Patriots or around the NFL have been attending Phase One at team facilities, though reports indicated that Cam Newton did show up for the start of the offseason program.

Phase Two, which features on-field work but in walk-through fashion, was reduced from three weeks to one week this year and will take place May 17-21.

On May 17, each team also will be allowed to being a seven-week rookie football development program.