The NFL offseason is beginning to become heavily impacted by the coronavirus, even with no games being played at this time. Teams have put a hold on operations and the league has even canceled a very important meeting with officials. The NFL has said they have no plans to move the start of the league year, which starts on Wednesday, March 18th, with the tampering period beginning on Monday the 16th. With the NFL draft and other NFL offseason activities getting ready to get underway over the next month or so, it’ll be interesting to see how this is approached.
Coronavirus Impacting The NFL Offseason
Team Operations Put On Hold
Due to the decisions of other sports leagues, many were wondering what the NFL was going to do. Earlier today, a few teams have spoken out about what they’ll do, whether it’s closing facilities or canceling travel. Here are some of the reported actions teams are taking due to Coronavirus:
- The San Francisco 49ers are closing operations at the SAP Center and Levi’s Stadium beginning March 13th until further notice.
- The Detroit Lions encouraging all employees, except critical staff, to work remotely.
- The Buffalo Bills suspend travel of coaches and scouts.
- The Atlanta Falcons are suspending air travel for their scouts and are temporarily shutting down offices for deep cleaning.
- All non-essential Kansas City Chiefs personnel instructed to work remotely for at least 14 days beginning Monday. Also, no traveling for non-essential staff and scouts.
- The Philadelphia Eagles are shutting down their training facility.
- The Minnesota Vikings suspend travel for coaches and scouts until further notice.
- The New York Jets and New York Giants are pulling all scouts and coaches off the road.
- The Washington Redskins told all coaches and scouts to suspend travel.
- The Green Bay Packers to close businesses to the public for two weeks and will suspend travel.
The moral of the story is that teams are taking precautions and limiting activities. That means no pre-draft or free-agent visits. Also, this means coaches will not going to different schools and facilities to work out players. This was a tough call for these teams but it had to be done.
In addition to teams taking pre-caution, the NFL has stepped in as well. They took a big step and has canceled the annual spring owners meeting that was going to be held on March 29-31 in West Palm Beach. All considerations and meeting agendas will be addressed at their next owner’s meeting, which will be held on May 19-20.
The NFL is also looking hard at if they need to make adjustments to the NFL Draft. The draft will be held on April 23-25 in Las Vegas. Like the new league year, the league doesn’t expect to make changes but that could change as anytime for the draft.
Many leagues were put on hold in hope of being able to return soon and that’s what the NFL hopes. The draft is a huge part of the offseason and they are hoping it doesn’t last into team OTA’s and camps this summer. The NFL season is over, which is a good thing, but it’s still affecting team activities and events. The league is monitoring the situation and are planning accordingly as they go along.
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