San Francisco 49ers OTA dates, format and what to expect

San Francisco 49ers training camp
San Francisco 49ers training camp / David Berding/GettyImages

The 49ers begin their next phase of the offseason program with organized team activities, yet specific rules apply.

The San Francisco 49ers will kick off another phase of their offseason workout programs this week.

Organized team activities, otherwise known as OTAs, are little more than glorified padless practices that feature plenty of one-on-one drills, physical training and a handful of 7-on-7 and a few 11-on-11 sessions between the offense and defense.

It also lacks the full intensity of training camp, which will commence later this summer. In fact, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters a year ago that he doesn't start looking at serious roster competition until camp, meaning that jobs aren't necessarily going to be won or lost based on what happens during OTAs.

OTAs are still important, though. It's a chance for rookies to acclimate to life at the NFL level. Players can develop chemistry while honing their understanding of offensive and defensive schemes.

So, what is there about OTAs that's important to know this year?

Let's take a look.

49ers OTA dates and schedule

Teams can have as many as 10 OTA workout days, according to the current collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the players union.

Here are the dates for Niners practices:

  • May 20-21
  • May 23
  • May 28-29
  • May 31

Practices are occasionally open to the media but are closed to the public. Fans generally aren't invited to attend practices until training camp.

Typically, practices around noon, local time, and that'll be followed by media availability to coaches and select players.

OTA tidbits and rules

As noted earlier, OTAs are padless, meaning there's no physical contact or tackling allowed.

Because of this, it can be hard to gauge some elements, such as whether or not an offensive player is good at breaking tackles or a defensive back can be effective at bumping a wide receiver off his route at the line of scrimmage.

Also of note, OTAs are completely voluntary.

Players aren't required to attend such practices and will not incur fines for being absent. Typically, players try to attend in order to develop that chemistry and hone their craft. But, especially for those players who may be seeking out a new contract, it might be in their best interest to skip voluntary workouts until a new contract is reached.

Defensive end Nick Bosa skipped OTAs last year before reaching his extension, and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is likely going to be absent this offseason until receiving his own.

San Francisco will begin a three-day mandatory minicamp, beginning on June 4.

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