The Browns are back to work.
Cleveland's 2021 offseason program is officially underway, and the beginning portion will look a lot like what the players experienced this time last year.
Phase I, which is completely virtual, opens today for all NFL teams. From April 19 - May 14, teams can hold virtual meetings but are not permitted to engage in any on-field work. Players are permitted to work out in the team's facilities under the guidance of their strength and conditioning coaches.
Phase 2, set for May 17-21, allows a limited number of non-contact, on-field drills with coaches permitted on the field. This is also the portion of the offseason calendar in which teams can hold rookie minicamps with their new draft picks and undrafted free agents.
During Phase 3 (May 24-June 18), teams can hold up to 10 OTAs and their mandatory veteran minicamp. Outside of the mandatory minicamp, all aspects of the virtual offseason program are voluntary.
Last year's offseason program was 100 percent virtual and stretched later into the summer than is normal. That prevented teams from engaging in any type of on-field workout until training camp, which was also delayed a bit compared to normal years.
In a statement released last week through the NFL Players Association, Browns players, like many others across the league, indicated they would not participate in any of this year's voluntary, in-person workouts.