NFL still plans to start free agency next week

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When it comes to its plan for free agency in light of current global events, the NFL could be consciously choosing the appearance of tone deafness over strategic benefit, for now.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the “NFL continues to say it’s business as usual and new league will start this week.” And while Schefter continues not to point out that the league is believed to be waiting until after CBA voting has closed to change its plans (enough believe this that he surely would have heard it by now), Schefter acknowledges that “[m]ultiple team officials express widespread skepticism that the NFL can start its league year this week, when our country is in crisis and so much — travel, visits, physicals — would have to happen.”

The truth continues to be that, if the league will be delaying on Sunday the start of the league year and free agency, it has indeed decided to say nothing about it until after tonight, when voting closing on the new CBA. This will mean that the league wants to avoid a situation where the union will piggyback on a delay in the start of free agency and delay the CBA voting or, possibly, re-do it in light of the dramatically changed circumstances.

As to the CBA vote, there’s a belief that the outcome will be close, and that it could go either way. There’s also a belief that any votes cast based on the events of the past few days are far more likely to be yes.

Some still think the notion that the league wants the players to vote no is bluffing or posturing or reverse psychology or whatever. The possibility that the league is willingly allowing itself to be painted by many in the media as out of touch in order to increase the chances that the CBA won’t be ratified strongly suggests otherwise.

The fact that the league is keeping its cards pressed tightly to the vest only enhances that perception.

32 responses to “NFL still plans to start free agency next week

  1. What is the benefit of delaying free agency? This outbreak will only get worse over the next few weeks at least unfortunately.

  2. In today’s world of cell phones/texting/facetime, NFL Free agency is low risk to health and safety.

    It should start next week.

  3. How many “multiple team officials” are we talking about out of the league’s 32 teams?

  4. So basically what is implied here is that the proposed CBA might be approved or not by NFLPA members just as the nefarious NFL Owners might be Wanting. In fact, they might be planning to hold up the start of the season or maybe not. It’s suggested further that they May or may not be purposely calculating that by not talking/leaking their thoughts on the matter the poor unsuspecting NFLPA members will vote for the new CBA. Devious.

    Fingers crossed on the vote being counted tonight. I bet if it is, the numbers will show that the NFLPA members either approve or don’t approve the new CBA.

  5. “when our country is in crisis and so much”

    Except the country is not in fact in .. “crisis”

  6. Good call to keep free agency to begin as scheduled. There’s no need for any type of large gatherings (or any gatherings) to sign free agents. With all other sport cancelled, it will be something to look forward to.

    And, the other sports did the right thing. It’s good to know that the leaders of these leagues/organizations are listening to people with education and experience in microbiology and epidemiology. Cancelling or postponing a tournament or season is an incredibly difficult decision to make, but it was the right thing to do.

  7. ` I have no doubt that free agents and teams have been in contact for months ; there are lot’s of ways of getting it done.

  8. I can only speak for myself, but personally I’m VERY happy that free agency at the moment is set to proceed as scheduled. People are doing everything they can with this pandemic, but people benefit from escapes…it’s one of the reasons professional sports thrive as they do. If anything, with all of our other major sports currently on hold, this would be an ideal escape to check on between pandemic efforts.

    If engaging in the free agency process would be that thrown off by pandemic response actions, okay, that’s a fair reason to delay the process. But if the primary objection is optics, I’m in the camp that this couldn’t be a BETTER thing to have right now.

  9. Start the league year and stop it with this nonsense about a virus thats effected less than 1% of the world’s population. There are over 300 Million people who call America home and there are barely over 1,000 confirmed cases..END OF STORY

  10. Are you willfully stupid enough to not recognize that at LEAST part of the reason only a small % of people are infected is because of the restrictions that are being imposed? Whether you falsely believe it is no more dangerous than regular flu even a moron can see that these measures will help to slow down the virus transference. Whether it is dangerous or not.

  11. “In today’s world of cell phones/texting/facetime, NFL Free agency is low risk to health and safety”

    Even though there is no risk to anyone’s health in starting the new league year, it flies in the face of current political correctness, which apparently is to cancel EVERYTHING.

  12. I am sorry this virus is affecting so many people worldwide and here in the U.S. and I hope it can be controlled very soon. It is real and very scary.
    That said, I am not feeling sorry for PRO athletes or team owners who’ve been affected by having to shut down their respective sports. Let these money-hungry people sweat about paying their bills just like the fans do and maybe it’ll will bring them back to reality. It’s too bad that something like this had to do it, but maybe it will open their eyes as to how good they all have it.
    I’d also love to see them play their games with no fans in the stands, too. Again — maybe they’ll realize how big of a part fans play in their enjoyment of what they do.
    The people I really feel sorry for (in terms of sports) are the amateurs and all the people who work in or around the stadiums, etc. This will really hurt them financially.

  13. You have to keep some businesses as usual. If teams don’t have there draft boards together by now the let them drown. PLEASE.

  14. Free agency meetings and travel can be handled non-commercial and in small groups. This is fine. Contracts can be handled over the phone. Extending it seems silly

  15. Enough of the postponing free agency. Seriously. Done smartly, and in the way 99% of the world communicates these days, near zero risk. You can’t just shut down. “Tone deaf” LOL!

  16. Camstinks says:
    March 14, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    Start the league year and stop it with this nonsense about a virus thats effected less than 1% of the world’s population. There are over 300 Million people who call America home and there are barely over 1,000 confirmed cases..END OF STORY

    ——————————–

    Perhaps it’s the end of the story for you but some of us believe in medicine and science and prefer to listen to experts.

  17. I don’t see the problem with the league starting free agency this week, we can’t just throw up our hands and give up on life over a virus, no matter how serious it is. To me it’s weak and pathetic and I don’t view the league as being “tone deaf” and insensitive to regular Americans as this affects them too. For some peculiar reason Florio has decided to go on a Crusade of sanctimony over it.

  18. camstinks says:
    March 14, 2020 at 4:42 pm
    Start the league year and stop it with this nonsense about a virus thats effected less than 1% of the world’s population. There are over 300 Million people who call America home and there are barely over 1,000 confirmed cases..END OF STORY

    ———

    According to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine’s Coronavirus Resouce Center there are currently 2726 confirmed cases in the US. There is a lot of good fact based information there.

  19. sylvester000001 says:

    “when our country is in crisis and so much”

    Except the country is not in fact in .. “crisis”
    ============================================

    Election year politics. What’s a rear crisis is the murder rate in Chicago and Baltimore and the homeless camps in LA.

  20. Enough with this crisis and not in crisis nonsense. These precautions are being done to prevent the hospitals from being overwhelmed and shutting down the health care system. If you doubt it could happen, check to see what’s happening in Italy. Chances are a lot of people will get it; this is understood. A lot of people getting it AT THE SAME TIME can’t get it, because that is super bad. Ok? Makes sense?

  21. Billion dollar sports leagues, professional and college, suspending play (i.e. suspending business), universities switching to online-only classes, school systems closing, etc., etc., all over election year politics.

    Right.

  22. According to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine’s Coronavirus Resouce Center there are currently 2726 confirmed cases in the US. There is a lot of good fact based information there.

    ———

    Why are people downvoting a factual update of confirmed cases count?

  23. I would think that the uncertainly of the CBA is the only reason to delay. The business of free agency can be handled completely by phone and fax or video conference.

    PS. Stop Hoarding toilet paper!

  24. The sooner it is determined that the Chinese are/have tested a bio-weapon, the sooner we can isolate the “real problem”(China) and move on. Do they care if they sacrifice a few thousand Chinese to get this rolling? I think not.
    They have,in a few short weeks, created panic and hysteria, brought our stock market to its knees,crippled our way of life,and halted our pasttimes in their tracks.
    America needs to wake up to the threat instead of trying “to play nice”.
    American greed, both corporate and labor union is the root cause of this dilemma. Build it here, make it here! Find middle ground between corporations and labor and cut out the cancer!
    Will we let a foreign power dictate our everyday life?

  25. Please for only the fact we won’t have to see any more articles
    about Dak Prescott being tagged or not.

  26. This could really hurt cold weather teams. Nobody wants to be self-isolating in Buffalo or Green Bay.

  27. Good for the fans. We can finally get some action going and something to talk about besides virus and toilet paper

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