The Redskins rookies will report to Redskins Park on Monday, July 16 to start preparation for the 2012 season. This early reporting is something new from the CBA that was signed last August. There are some questions about this new addition to the NFL calendar and we dug up a few answers.
Nobody has come up with a name for it yet so we’ll call it rookie camp even though more players than just rookies can participate. Any player on the roster who does not have a year of credited service in the league can report. So the group at Redskins Park will consist of the players they just drafted and the rookie free agents plus players who have received some NFL paychecks but have not been on the roster enough to qualify for a year of NFL service. This means that players like like Aldrick Robinson and Doug Worthington, who were on the practice squad for most of last season before moving up to the active roster late in the year, will be there.
Only players under contract can report so as of this moment that means that quarterback Robert Griffin III and guard Josh LeRibeus are out until they sign their rookie deals. While there is every reason to believe that due to the pay scale in the CBA both deals will get done in time, a contract is not done until it’s done. Those situations will bear watching.
The July 16 start date for the rookie camp was the Redskins’ choice. They could have started as early as July 5. No teams started that early; the Bills were the first, they had their rookies report yesterday. Some teams are having the rookies come in just a few days before the start of camp. There are 13 teams, including the Giants, Vikings, and Saints, who are choosing not to take advantage of the rule. Their rookies are reporting the same day as the veterans.
The rookie program consists of both classroom and on-field work. The practices are limited in time and pads and contact are not permitted.
Fans should not expect to have a burst of coverage coming out of this rookie camp. It is not open to the public and there is no time for the media to either talk to players or to observe practice. The next time we are going to be at Redskins Park is on July 25, the day the veterans report to camp and the day before the first full-squad practices.