ORCHARD PARK, NY - MAY 11: Stephon Gilmore #27 of the Buffalo Bills runs drills during Buffalo Bills Rookie Camp on May 11, 2012 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
The Buffalo Bills won't report to St. John Fisher College for the start of training camp until July 25, but the team's rookies can begin working out at team facilities today in preparation for the rigors of their first professional training camp.
This according to the NFL, which sent out a press release today indicating that Bills rookies were scheduled to "report" on July 9. The Bills confirmed as much in announcing the signing of third-round pick T.J. Graham, noting that rookies can work out on their own at One Bills Drive starting today.
Buffalo's rookies are by far the first to report for duty this summer, as the next two teams to have rookies report - the Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins - won't be hosting their rookies until a week from today, on July 16. (Both of those teams report for their respective training camps on July 25, as well.)
The rookies will be together for a full extra week compared to other teams (and even longer in many cases), but won't be up at Fisher until the entire team gets there in just over two weeks' time.
What isn't clear is precisely what advantage the team is gaining by asking its rookies to report this early, as they're the only team to do so. It's also not clear if the rookies will be able to work out with the team's training staff present. Presumably, these players have been on a team-prescribed workout routine since rookie mini-camp in May.