Under the terms of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, mandatory minicamps are the only required offseason participation for all players.
Twenty-four NFL teams will hold their mandatory workouts next week.
Since seven clubs are wrapping up the mandatory portion of their offseason, we are listing what we learned from each squad below:
- Coach Mike Pettine told reporters Thursday that veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer is "securely" in place as Cleveland's starter. Rookie lightning rod Johnny Manziel is going to see his share of first-team snaps come late July, though, and still has a shot to win the job, with Pettine saying: "I don't think it's insurmountable."
- By all accounts, Manziel has encountered growing pains under center. While struggling with his reads and progressions, Manziel's decision-making and release need work, per NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala. The more experienced Hoyer has displayed a faster release and looked "far superior" making his second and third reads. That said, June 12 depth charts aren't keeping us up at night.
- With Ben Tate"a little nicked up" during this week's minicamp, rookie Terrance West saw plenty of reps with the first team, per The Plain Dealer. It's clear the Browns plan to unleash multiple backs in play-caller Kyle Shanahan's attack, but Tate isn't cowed by the competition, telling Mary Kay Cabot: "Nobody in that room scares me."
- We still await the fate of Josh Gordon. While Pettine labeled chatter about the wide receiver's practice habits "overblown," there's no overstating the void created if the NFL ships Gordon into hyperspace for 16 games. "We haven't been given a date," Pettine said. "But I think in fairness to us, the league would let us know (before camp)."
- Keep an eye on "Making the Leap" candidate Jabaal Sheard. The scheme-versatile pass rusher is set to play the Mario Williams role in Pettine's defense. For all the buzz around Manziel and the offense, this D has the depth and talent to keep the Browns playing meaningful games beyond Week 5 -- and that's something new.
-- Marc Sessler
- The Cardinals have grown faster on offense: After signing Ted Ginn, the team used its third-round pick on Pittsburg State wideout John Brown. Both run sub-4.34 40s with Brown already drawing "favorable" comparisons out of the slot to Colts burner T.Y. Hilton. "Pure speed, and it's something this offense must have to be successful," quarterback Carson Palmer said. "They give us a dramatic change from what we had last year."
- With Tyrann Mathieu six months removed from major knee surgery, Arizona isn't about to rush its defensive playmaker into action. "I had Oct. 1, or after the (bye week) as the target date for me personally," coach Bruce Arians told reporters Thursday, per the team's official site. "If (he does) something better than that, God bless 'em."
- Patrick Peterson wants a new contract, but won't go the Marshawn Lynch route to get one. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that talks are active and some progress has been made on a new contract for the All-Pro shutdown cornerback, who stuck to his promise to attend this week's minicamp.
-- Marc Sessler
New Orleans Saints
"A blind man could've seen Junior ascend, and you guys can definitely see the same thing with Hicks," Ryan said this week.
- Nearly every report out of Saints camp has given positive reviews to running back Travaris Cadet. The shifty, 6-foot-1 scatback has been discussed as a potential Darren Sproles replacement. Even Sean Payton spoke highly of the back's improvements. Still, it's June and no one is wearing pads. We still believe Cadet will have a tough time getting ahead of Pierre Thomas, Khiry Robinson and Mark Ingram.
-- Kevin Patra
- Golden Tate was one of the best punt returners in the league with the Seahawks, but don't expect him to handle those duties in Detroit. Tate strongly hinted this week that Jeremy Ross -- who performed well on returns after being acquired by the Lions in midseason last year -- will continue in that role in 2014. Tate is game for special teams work if it's asked of him, but the same cannot be said for running back Reggie Bush. "As of right now, no," Bush said, via mlive.com. "And hopefully, no. I'd like to think I graduated from returning kicks and punts."
- Lions coach Jim Caldwell is encouraging quarterback Matthew Stafford to have more pre-snap autonomy this season. The coaching staff is also working with Stafford to improve his footwork and throwing mechanics, issues that have troubled the QB in the past. Caldwell has added a "ladder cam" at practice, which exclusively films what Stafford sees during drills.
- Defensive end Ziggy Ansah (shoulder), running back Joique Bell (knee) and Tate (shoulder) sat out all three minicamp practices, according to the Lions' team site. They are all expected to be ready for the start of training camp. The training camp availability of cornerback Chris Houston -- who sat out minicamp following toe surgery last month -- is less certain.
-- Dan Hanzus
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- There was a time when Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers were both looked at as potential future stars in Tampa. Clayborn is still getting talked up as a "breakout" candidate, but Bowers has underwhelmed with another offseason in which he's out of shape. Clayborn will primarily play at left end this year, but he'll sometimes trade spots with free agent pickup Michael Johnson.
- Bucs coach Lovie Smith said that the team still has "big plans" for tight end Tim Wright despite the offseason additions of Brandon Myers and rookie Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The team's transactions speak louder than any OTA hype, but Smith's words indicate that Wright could still have a role in the offense. He is a very talented pass catcher who could play plenty if Seferian-Jenkins isn't ready to contribute early in his career.
- "Every team says they have a leader, but not every team has a leader like Josh (McCown)," Smith told NFL Network's Jeff Darlington.
-- Gregg Rosenthal
- The Broncos' front seven on defense is much deeper this year than last. One intriguing pass rusher is 2013 fifth-round pick Quanterus Smith, who spent his rookie season on injured reserve after beating Alabama stars D.J. Fluker and Cyrus Kouandjio for a combined three sacks when Western Kentucky squared off against Alabama. Now 18 months removed from ACL surgery, Smith is seeing extra reps at outside linebacker while Miller sits out 11-on-11 drills.
-- Chris Wesseling
- Jermaine Gresham reportedly underwent hernia surgery, which explains his absence from offseason practices. Fellow tight end Tyler Eifert has downplayed a shoulder ailment that kept him out of this week's minicamp. Per the team's official website, both players are expected to be ready for training camp.
- New coordinator Hue Jackson's new up-tempo attack isn't going over well with the defensive players. "They hate me right now," Jackson quipped. One interesting feature of Jackson's offense: He's toying with a package that has Giovani Bernard and rookie Jeremy Hill on the field at the same time. BenJarvus Green-Ellis continues to take on the look of the odd man out.
-- Chris Wesseling