For NFL fans, the Scouting Combine is typically viewed as the kickoff of the offseason in February, the draft is the offseason’s halftime in April, and the start of training camp is when football is back upon us at the end of July. But that could change in future years.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the NFL is considering changes to its off-season calendar that would move the Combine to March, the start of free agency to April and the draft to May. The NFL is also considering having all 32 teams start training camp on the same day.
The players’ union would have to approve such a radical change to the calendar, but the NFL may be able to persuade the players to buy in with an argument that it would increase revenue — some of which is shared with the players — and make the Combine, free agency and the draft bigger events.
It’s worth wondering whether the owners are also thinking that moving back the offseason could give them more breathing room if they expand the regular season to 18 games and move the Super Bowl from early February to late February.
For NFL fans, the draft is often viewed as the halftime of the offseason, but the reality is it’s really not the midpoint of the offseason at all: It comes less than three months after the Super Bowl, but with more than four months left before the start of the regular season. Moving the draft back a month would position it as a true halfway point between the Super Bowl and Week One, and potentially make it an even bigger offseason event.