The Miami Dolphins get back to work today, beginning the long, slow march to the regular season with the first day of their offseason conditioning program. The next two weeks will not feature any field time practices, but will instead focus on strength and conditioning work, but it does at least mean the players will start showing back up at the team facilities and we are beginning the 2015 season.
Of course, all of these workouts are "voluntary," meaning no player can be punished for not showing up. In today's NFL, however, the "voluntary" status does not mean coaches and teammates will not be pressuring any player who is not at the team facilities to show up.
The offseason program is broken into three phases, with the first phase, which Miami begins today, two-weeks of strength and conditioning only.
The second phase then features three weeks of on-field workouts, but will focus only on individual player instruction and drills. Teams can also hold "separates" practices, but cannot do any live contact, nor can they do offense versus defense team drills.
Phase three of the offseason workouts will last for four weeks, which will consist of 10 days of "OTAs" or organized team activities. During those days, there still cannot be live contact, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are authorized.
Teams are also authorized one mandatory minicamp, which must be held during the third phase of the workout program. The three-day event is the only offseason workout program in which veterans may be compelled to attend, with fines being applied if they do not participate.
The Dolphins' scheduled OTAs are May 26-27, May 29, June 1-2, June 4, and June 8-11. The mandatory minicamp will take place June 16-18.