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NFL plans to start 2020 league year as scheduled despite coronavirus pandemic [UPDATE]

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For now, at least ...

Dallas Cowboys v Pittsburgh Steelers

UPDATE: Pro Football Talk reports the NFL is “contemplating the possibility of announcing on Sunday a delay in the start of free agency.”


The NFL has “no plans to move the start of the league year” despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, per NFL insider Adam Schefter. NFL free agency is currently set to begin in less than a week at 4:00 PM Eastern on Wednesday, March 18.

It remains to be seen if the NFL will maintain this stance as other major sports leagues (NBA, MLS, NLL) and events are being suspended/postponed/cancelled around the United States.

Some NFL teams have already begun to take action as it relates to COVID-19. We learned on Wednesday that the Philadelphia Eagles are pulling their coaching staff from the pro day circuit. Other teams around the league are not only following suit but also preventing their scouting staff from traveling.

Schefter note multiple teams are discussing shutting down their training facilities entirely.

In addition to this news, the Washington football team became the first club to announce they’re cancelling their 30 official visits ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft. Several agents, meanwhile, are pulling their clients from scheduled visits with other teams who haven’t already cancelled on their end.

To be honest, it feels strange that the NFL plans to start on start the new league year as scheduled. Look, I’m excited for free agency and trades and whatnot like the rest of us. But those things don’t really matter most right now. There are bigger priorities to consider, like everyone’s health and safety.

We’ll soon see if the league changes course.