Phase 1 begins today with two weeks of strength and conditioning, all voluntary though obviously heavily emphasized. The next two phases are more of what we are used to calling Offseason Training Activities (OTAs) and mandatory mini-camp:
Phase 2 of the program is a three-week period that allows on-field workouts with individual player instruction and drills. No live contact or team offense vs. defense drills are permitted.
Phase 3 won't begin until late May after Memorial Day weekend. It is a four-week period in which the team can conduct a total of 10 days of organized practice. There is no live contact, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.
One of the objectives of the NFL in creating their annual schedule was to make the NFL a year round sport. I think they have come real close to accomplishing that. While this approach to the offseason is designed to benefit the players and their preparation for the upcoming season it has also bridged the gap between the draft and training camp.
The downside for the players is they no longer have an extended summer break with phase 3 extending towards the end of June. Training camp begins the final weekend of July so outside of the Feb-April winter break they have less time in the summer. I'm not feeling bad for these guys mind you, it's a better schedule than my own. Just pointing it out.