Saints release offseason workout calendar

The Saints are set to begin their 2014 offseason workouts on April 21, it was announced Thursday. Their organized team activities, or “OTAs,” will be May 27 to 29, June 3 to 5, and June 16 to 19.

The team’s mandatory minicamp will be June 10 to 12.

According to Collective Bargaining Agreement rules, the Saints and every other team that has a returning head coach may start their offseason program on April 21. Teams that have new head coaches can start on April 7.

The collective bargaining agreement splits each NFL club’s voluntary nine-week offseason program is in three phases.

Phase 1 consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation.

Phase 2 involves the next three weeks of the program. On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Phase 3 is the next four weeks of the program. Teams can conduct a total of 10 days of OTAs. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

The CBA allows clubs to hold one mandatory minicamp for veteran players. The veteran minicamp must occur during Phase Three of the offseason program. Head coaches hired after the end of the 2013 season may hold an additional voluntary veteran minicamp.

Each club may hold a rookie football development program for a period of seven weeks, and it can begin May 12.