NEW ORLEANS -- New coaches in the NFL are given the opportunity to conduct two mandatory minicamps instead of the one that the rest of the teams in the league are allowed.
Leslie Frazier was hoping to take advantage of that by having the first camp April 8-10 before the NFL draft and then conducting a second camp probably in June. But it appears as if there is little chance Frazier will be able to gather his team in early April.
The NFL is in the midst of a lockout and there is a court hearing scheduled for April 6 in St. Paul. The players, who have disbanded as a union, are hoping the judge blocks the lockout.
Even if that happens, it's hard to believe that it will be business as usual in the NFL. There also would have to be a real concern that if players were asked to report to a camp two days after a court hearing that there could be some guys who might need more time to get in shape.
"There are a lot of factors you have to consider now," Frazier said. "Not having the conditioning leading up to it [is one of them]."
The value for Frazier in this type of camp primarily would be on the offensive side of the ball, at least in early April. New offensive coordiantor Bill Musgrave is making some changes to the scheme and Frazier would like his veterans to get an opportunity to not only do on-the-field work but also learn in the classroom.
Note: Our story this morning said Frazier hoped to hold the first minicamp the week before the draft. However, Frazier clarified this morning that he actually meant to say April 8-10.
Worth noting: It's not clear if Sports Illustrated Peter King has a source on this issue or this is more of a gut feeling, but King mentions in his "Monday Morning Quarterback" column that his leaders in the clubhouse to attempt to deal for Carson Palmer are the Vikings, Arizona and San Francisco. Palmer has made it clear he wants out of Cincinnati but that doesn't mean the Bengals will deal the veteran. Keep in mind, right now, no trades involving players can be made because of the lockout.
King also notes that Bengals owner Mike Brown "doesn't care much for, nor is affected by, a player holding him hostage, never mind a player Brown has grown to like a lot as a man."