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Even with a new head coach hire, Falcons won’t start OTAs early

The NFL won’t allow teams with new head coaches in 2021 to start OTAs early.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The 2021 league year has been underway for two weeks now, and currently league meetings are underway where we learn about rule changes and updates as NFL team owners get together. We already know of the recent news that the NFL will move to a 17-game regular season in 2021, but there’s some additional news that has come to light that will impact the Falcons specifically.

On Tuesday afternoon, Tom Pelissaro of NFL Network shared some news on Twitter regarding OTAs.

“The NFL informed clubs today they can begin Phase 1 of OTAs on April 19, per source. Players are still allowed to work out at the facility in small groups, as many have been. The NFL and NFLPA continue to discuss virtual vs. in-person meetings and on-field work soon thereafter.”

The reason this is significant news for the Falcons is because it means they won’t start OTAs early, like in normal seasons, because of the new coach. This means that all teams will start OTAs at the same time, on April 19. As mentioned in his tweet, we should also find out about how soon players will actually meet in person opposed to being largely virtual like during the 2020 offseason.

The Falcons have a new regime in place, with Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot at the helm. In normal times, they would be allowed to begin meeting with Falcons’ players starting on Monday. Now they will get the same amount of time as the other 31 NFL teams to begin preparing for the upcoming 2021 regular season.