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The Atlanta Falcons began their 2017 offseason workout program on Monday

Fact: Vic Beasley is adamant that a hot dog is, in fact, a sandwich

NFL: Atlanta Falcons-Training Camp Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons began their much-anticipated offseason workout program at Flowery Branch on Monday. It’s finally time to put the exciting but absolutely heartbreaking 2016 season behind us. Flowery Branch is flush with football players and we’re looking ahead to training camp in July.

This is Phase One of a three phase program that 23 NFL teams kicked off today. During Phase One, participation is 100 percent voluntary. Workouts can only last four hours a day, half of which is under team control (i.e., the team can dictate how two of the four hours will play out; the remainder is used for weight lifting, various types of rehab, classroom time, etc.). Just 90 minutes of actual on-the-field work per day is permitted.

There are no shortage of big names in attendance, including Devonta Freeman, Vic Beasley, Julio Jones, and the elder statesman himself, Matt Bryant, to name a few. I’m particularly pleased to see Freeman there. It shows his dedication to this team and his craft, notwithstanding the absence of a contract extension. It also may be a sign the Falcons are working in good faith towards getting him that raise he’s been after. Meanwhile, there’s some unfinished business hanging out there.

Apparently both Allen and Gabriel were present today. This “Brotherhood” stuff may just be a rallying cry and it may be a little gimmicky, but that’s 3 guys with large roles showing up for the off-season program, in spite of their contract situations. Granted, all three contracts should be inked in the near future, so their presence isn’t shocking. But heck, I’m impressed, and you should be too.