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Dates for Rams offseason program are set

Earlier, we discussed the somewhat surprising presence of a mandatory minicamp on the Los Angeles Rams' offseason schedule. Aside from that minicamp, which still might not happen, the Rams' offseason looks to be similar to that of the rest of the NFL.

The only difference for the Rams is that they'll begin their offseason in a different state than last year's as they are now moved into their Oxnard, Calif., digs. When they finish up the offseason program they'll relocate again, this time to Irvine, Calif., for training camp and then head back north of Los Angeles to Thousand Oaks for the season.

Here's a look at the Rams' offseason schedule:

Start of offseason program -- April 18

The NFL offseason is split into three phases over the course of nine weeks and is considered voluntary under the league's collective-bargaining agreement save for a mandatory minicamp. The first of them begins here and lasts two weeks. The first phase is limited to strength and conditioning as well as rehabilitation for injured players. No full-fledged practices can take place.

The second phase begins in week three and lasts three full weeks. It expands what's allowed to include individual drills and coaching as well as separate work for the offense and defense. Full team practices are still prohibited.

Included in the time period of the second phase is the introduction of what the league calls a "rookie football developmental program." That can last for up to seven weeks, and is scheduled to begin this year on May 9. None of the activities included in that can happen on weekends except for one rookie minicamp to be held on one of the two weekends after the NFL draft.

The Rams will almost certainly again have their rookie "orientation" the weekend after the draft, which would be May 6-8. They generally don't have a rookie minicamp for practices, instead using the orientation as an opportunity to introduce the rookies to how things work without extensive on-field practice work.

Rams OTA dates -- May 31, June 1, 3, 7, 8 and 10.

This third and final phase introduces the use of up to 10 organized team activities. That's the only time during the offseason that the team can all practice together. There can be no live tackling or full contact in those OTAs.

Mandatory minicamp -- June 14-16

As we detailed earlier Monday, the Rams have generally avoided these minicamps, at least in the prescribed "minicamp" form. Rams coach Jeff Fisher said at the owners meetings that he'll get an idea of how attendance is during the offseason program before making a decision on whether to actually hold this minicamp. It's also possible that this minicamp will turn into a final few days of OTAs. The difference being that the Rams will still hold practice on these days (or days close to them) rather than the long days that come with a "minicamp." As you can see above, each team is entitled to 10 OTAs and the Rams have only six scheduled. So chances are good that if Fisher opts out of the minicamp, he'll still use days during this same week in June for OTAs.