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Monday, April 2, 2012
Rules, rules, rules: Workouts set to begin

By Mike Sando

What to know about the voluntary offseason workout programs beginning Monday in select NFL cities:
Rules have allowed players to work out at team facilities on their own outside offseason programs. However, teams could not pay players or reimburse them for expenses during this time. The team could not supervise the workouts other than to make sure players used equipment properly. Rules prevented any practices, meetings with coaches, group or individual film study with coaches or playbook study with coaches.

The rules outlined above were collectively bargained limitations designed to give players relief from ever-encroaching offseason programs. The effect, in some cases, has been to prevent players from putting in as much preparation as they might otherwise desire, particularly when adapting to new schemes. But we're still five months away from the regular season, ample time to prepare.