All that's left is to see these teams in action on the field, and that's what the next two weeks are for. After going through voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) throughout May, it's time for mandatory minicamps. Teams will go through two to three days of workouts with the entire club before having one final break, then the grind of the 2023 campaign begins with the start of training camp in late July.
Below you'll find the mandatory minicamp schedule for every team as well as real-time highlights, updates and analysis from around the league, beginning Tuesday.Minicamp highlights
Nine teams start mandatory minicamp this week: The Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, and Washington Commanders. Coaches and players will speak at the conclusion of practice.Patriots' undrafted QB tries new position
Malik Cunningham ended his collegiate career as one of Louisville's most productive quarterbacks in school history, but he's also been used at another position in his first few months as a Patriot.
"He played quarterback at Louisville, so we're giving him some work at receiver," Bill Belichick said Tuesday. "We'll see how it goes. He's an athletic kid, smart. He's able to learn two spots. We'll see."
Belichick, of course, produced one of the best QB-turned-WRs in NFL history in Julian Edelman, so he's familiar with the process. It will be interesting to see how New England uses Cunningham once training camp and preseason games get underway.Love's go-to WR
That would be second-year wideout Romeo Doubs.One-handed snag!
Brian Robinson Jr. was known as a bruiser of a running back at Alabama, but the Commanders' second-year pro has some pass-catching ability as well. Based on what he showed during practice Wednesday, it seems Robinson will eclipse the nine passes he caught as a rookie.Bounce-back year for Deshaun Watson?
No. 1 wide receiver Amari Cooper seems to think so, noting the three-time Pro Bowler has looked good so far in mandatory minicamp.
"He looks in a bit of a better groove," Cooper said of Watson (via ProFootballTalk). "Just having that long layoff, of course you're going to lose some rhythm, some form of rhythm. But he looks like he's really getting that back."
Following an 11-game suspension, Watson looked like a quarterback who had not played in a meaningful game in almost two years. He went 3-3 in his six starts last season, completing a career-low 58.2% of his passes while throwing just seven touchdowns compared to five interceptions. Speaking from Browns minicamp Wednesday, Watson expects 2023 to go better.Meet 'the guy' of the Patriots backfield
Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson's co-starter, Damien Harris, is now a Buffalo Bill, opening the door for the third-year back to be a leader . He's excited to be "the guy" for New England going forward.
"That's what's being asked of me right now," Stevenson said Tuesday, per the Boston Herald. "I'm trying to take that step. It's still early, but I'm trying to take that step to be a leader."
Fantasy football managers take note!Aaron Rodgers continues pop quizzes with Jets
The new face of the New York Jets wants to make sure, so he's brought over a staple activity from his time with the Packers: pop quizzes.
"We'll be in the meeting and Hack will be talking, then Aaron will butt in real quick," running back Breece Hall said of Rodgers.
Jets playmakers better study up!Commanders may practice indoors Thursday due to air quality
With over 100 active wildfires burning along the United States-Canadian border Wednesday, the air quality in many places along the U.S. East Coast is declining and bordering on dangerous. Those concerns have seeped down to Ashburn, Virginia where the Washington Commanders reside. The team practiced outside on Wednesday, but they are strongly considering going indoors for their next practice on Thursday.
"We looked at the air quality index," Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday. "We reached out to our doctors, our medical personnel and asked about what our options are about practicing today, tomorrow and probably next week we'll have to continue to monitor it."
"We're going to talk to the players before we go out there and tell anybody that has respiratory concerns, obviously we would excuse," Rivera continued. "Or if they start feeling any issue during workouts we would send them inside. Then we would have to consider tomorrow potentially going inside the bubble to practice. If we can avoid it we will, but if not, if the air quality becomes a little too concerning, then we most certainly will go in."McDaniel labels Tua Miami's most consistent offseason performer
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who led the NFL in passing yards per attempt (8.9) and passer rating (105.5) in Year 1 under head coach Mike McDaniel in 2022, has earned high praise from his head coach for his work in the 2023 offseason program. McDaniel said Wednesday, via NFL Media, that Tagovailoa has been as "consistent as anyone" as the team goes through its organized team activities and minicamp phase of the offseason.
Consistency is significant for a quarterback like Tagovailoa, someone who suffered multiple concussions in 2022. The 25-year-old has spent the offseasonin an effort to fall more safely and prevent additional head trauma.
"This dude is everything you look for in a starting QB," McDaniel said.Tyreek Hill held out of OTA team reps on Tuesday
"If Tyreek is at risk for further injury, he doesn't know any speed on the practice field except full go," Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said Wednesday, via Pro Football Network. "There's also a component of coaches protecting players from themselves. He's dealing with some minor stuff, but if at any point we think it makes the Miami Dolphins worse for someone to practice, we will turn the page and he will not practice."
An incredible sight as Hamlin was seen on the practice field as a full participant in minicamp. Just five months after suffering cardiac arrest on the field, Hamlin is back and playing for the Bills.
For the first time in an OTA open to the media, Damar Hamlin wore his helmet and was a full participant in practice. Big step forward. pic.twitter.com/4NVoPBhgFI— Alaina Getzenberg (@agetzenberg) June 6, 2023
Hamlin did return to practice after getting his shoulder looked at after a play, apparently frustrated with the injury.
During Tuesday minicamp session, Watson seemed to have an early rapport with wideout Elijah Moore, who was acquired by the Browns this offseason in a trade with the Jets. The two connected on a touchdown during a 7-on-7 period. The 23-year-old receiver is a former second-round pick out of Ole Miss and is coming off a 2022 season where he caught 37 balls for 446 yards and a touchdown.
As for Watson, the quarterback was reportedly sharp during those 7-on-7 drills as Cleveland.com notes he completed touchdowns to Moore, Amari Cooper, David Bell, Donovan Peoples-Jones and David Njoku.
Despite having his fifth-year option declined, Young said he's "ready to go" and "felt good running routes with his teammates." Young participated in practice with the Commanders and is in positive spirits as he'll be a free agent after this season.
Floyd signed with the Bills on Monday and is already hitting the ground running at minicamp. He projects to play a huge role in the pass rush, rotating with Von Miller and Gregory Rousseau.No mandatory minicamp for Jets
The #Jets have decided not to hold mandatory minicamp next week, source said, thanks in part to coming to training camp a week early due to the Hall of Fame game. Pleased with the work this spring, coach Robert Saleh sets them free a bit early.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 6, 2023
Head coach Robert Saleh has seen enough from his team through the voluntary minicamp sessions. The Jets won't have mandatory minicamp this year due to starting the season (and training camp) a week earlier because they're scheduled to play in the Hall of Fame game.
The Jets join the Eagles and Bengals in not holding mandatory minicamp.Cowboys' Luke Shoonmaker loses boot
One of the more noteworthy items heading into Cowboys minicamp was the status of rookie tight end Luke Shoonmaker. He's been dealing with a plantar fascia issue and was previously spotted wearing a boot. However, he was seen at the start of Dallas' minicamp on Tuesday without a boot, which is a good sign for his prospects of being a full participant by the time training camp rolls around.
The Dolphins are holding mandatory minicamp, but Connor Williams won't be in attendance. The only Miami player not present, Williams and head coach Mike McDaniel have been in communication and the absence is not excused. In the final year of a two-year contract, the Dolphins' starting center is seeking a new deal and a pay raise.
The Dolphins can fine him for each day he misses minicamp.Jared Goff a 'better QB' now with Lions
Lions head coach Dan Campbell heaped praise onto his quarterback Jared Goff, specifically because he isin Detroit's system and knows it inside and out.
"I mean, he's a better quarterback than he was there [with the Rams] in my opinion because he can do more things. He's mentally on it.," Campbell said. "We ask him to do a lot more in my opinion than what [the Rams] were actually doing out there. They had a lot of pretty good pieces out there as well as we know. Damn good defense. All those things, but I just feel like, I know from speaking with him and watching him really over the last two years, I just feel like ... we put a lot of things on him where I'm not so sure that was ultimately what they were doing."Gibbs flashing route-running ability
The Lions' first-round running back may need to work on securing the football, but the early impressions of him coming out of minicamp have praised his route-running ability and speed. The club has reportedly used him as a receiver throughout the offseason on top of his prowess as a running back, so this could be the foundation of a key chess piece in this Detroit offense.Jaxson Smith-Njigba working on goal-line drills
Here's one of the first looks of Seattle's first-round receiver Jaxson Smith-Njigba, who was working with Geno Smith on some goal-line drills inside the red zone. While the Seahawks already boast two top wideouts in D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, Smith-Njigba could carve out a sizable role with this team, especially if he can work the short field in the red area like he was practicing here.Quarterback competition in Washington?
Ron Rivera reiterated that while Sam Howell is QB1, he still views it as a competition between Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett. "We talk about Jacoby as much as we talk about Sam," Rivera said. Howell has been taking most of the first-team reps in spring drills.—