The Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns are among several teams conducting informal workouts. During the NFL lockout, teams can't be at the facility or work with coaches so some teams are taking matters into their own hands and preparing workouts on their own.
I think there is some value in doing this and that mainly comes through the camaraderie that will be cultivated through these workouts. Teams need to stick together, especially during the lockout, and these informal workouts are a good way of achieving that unity.
But as far as actual usefulness?
I'm not sure there's much there. If I were a player, the risk of injury would be too high for me to feel comfortable doing too much at the workouts. I think things like running and lifting are fine but as far as actual football drills, I'd be wary. That's because, during the lockout, teams aren't liable for injuries suffered by the players. For some of the most talented players, that's not a major issue because they're not in danger of being cut if/when the lockout is lifted.
The younger or bottom-of-the-roster players, though, should be a little worried. What's going to stop the team from releasing them when the lockout is over if they tore an ACL?
So I like the idea of informal workouts during the lockout, but I'm not sure there's a whole lot to accomplish.