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Bills pick up offseason pace Monday

The dominant theme next week in the NFL will be the upcoming draft, but the Buffalo Bills' preparations for the 2012 season will kick into a higher gear in a different way Monday.

That's when players can report to the team facility for the start of the offseason conditioning program.

The workout sessions -- which are voluntary -- are open to the 70 players currently on the team's roster. Work will be limited to strength and conditioning as part of the league's new collective bargaining agreement. The CBA does not allow teams to even use a football during the first two weeks of offseason training.

The penalty is steep for teams found to be in violation of the rules: a $250,000 fine for the team and a $100,000 fine for coaches.

Another restriction: players can't be in helmets and pads for the first five weeks of workouts.

The team will hold a minicamp for rookies and first-year players from May 11-13, while the first session of organized team activities is to be begin May 29. The CBA allows for 10 OTAs -- down from the previously allowed 14 under the old agreement -- with the others scheduled for May 31, then June 1, 5, 7-8, 11-12, 14-15.

The Bills' mandatory minicamp begins June 19. None of the workout sessions, OTAs or minicamp are open to the public.

The first round of the draft will be held Thursday night, with rounds two and three Friday and four through seven Saturday. Every round will be broadcast on ESPN and the NFL Network.