It’s a topic many may not want to address, but with the events going on in the NBA it would be irresponsible to avoid the discussion. With the suspension of the NBA season on Wednesday after a player tested positive for COVID-19, and with the NHL considering their actions and making a decision Thursday, the NFL needs to have serious discussions about how they are going to be conducting business over the next several weeks.
There are several issues which may need to be addressed and timelines changed in order for the health and safety of players and team employees. With the league year slated to start next Wednesday and the legal tampering period beginning on Monday, the NFL may need to consider pushing back these dates as concerns are rising in regards to travel. ProFootballTalk has suggested the NFL should push most of their dates back one month in order to reassess the situation with the health concerns over COVID-19.
I'm starting to think the NFL should delay free agency for a month, and then reassess. Also, if as it appears the draft isn't going to happen in a public venue, it can be delayed, too. Ditto for the offseason program.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 12, 2020
One of the biggest events of the off-season for the National Football League is the upcoming draft the last weekend in April. With six weeks until the event, it is hard to say exactly where the public health concerns will be at the time. Making a decision about the draft may not be just about the event itself, but the preparation involved with each team.
As more and more universities are shutting down their classrooms and transitioning to online instruction, the availability for players to hold the pro days will be an ongoing question over the next few weeks. While NFL teams are doing their best to evaluate talent in order to be prepared for the draft, perhaps moving the event would allow for players to hold their pro days at a later time if community health conditions improve.
With the next game featuring two NFL teams not being until the Steelers and Cowboys face off on August 6 in the Hall of Fame Game, there is plenty of time for things to possibly run their course without affecting the NFL season. But as many of us know, even the off-season is full of various activities which include the NFL combine, free agency, the NFL draft, and OTA’s. Will the NFL take preventative measures and change these activities for the health and safety of everyone?
It is a question which may be answered sooner than later. I’m sure the NFL s not going to leave everyone hanging and wondering if players should still be preparing for free agency and for draft hopefuls to hold their pro days in order to showcase their talents. While sitting back and waiting for the other major sports to make decisions in regards to their seasons and playoffs, the NFL will probably follow suit in order to do what is best for the general public. The last thing the league office wants to do is continue with business as usual only to find out preventative measures would have greatly benefited the health of their employees, players, and fans.
For now, all we can do is wait to see how the NFL is going to conduct their business in the coming weeks. As much as I love everything about football and the inner workings, the last thing I wanted to see is someone’s health be put in jeopardy when the off-season schedule can be adjusted.
Unfortunately, there will be probably more news coming shortly on this front. For now, I just want everyone to stay safe, be responsible, and worry about football at another time.