Welcome to new league year . . . now keep waiting

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You’ve patiently waited for the new league year since the last playing season ended. And it has arrived, as of 4:00 p.m. ET.

And it means, well, not much.

Apart from the fact that free agency actually begins when the tampering window opens, the realties of the league’s COVID-19 rules will keep things from happening all that quickly.

On Tuesday, the NFL advised all teams that clubs may not announce that deals have been reached with a given player, subject to the player passing a physical. The deals can’t be announced until executed, and any deal hinging on a player passing a physical can’t be executed unless and until the player undergoes a physical via the league’s COVID-19 protocol that prevents the player from visiting the team’s facility and prevents team doctors from visiting the player but allows for the player to be examined by a neutral physician who is in the same geographic area as the player.

Trades likewise won’t be final until the player passes a physical, and the same procedures apply. (However, announcements of deals apparently can occur.)

So while the new league year has arrived, don’t fire off the confetti or uncork the champagne. The wave of formal announcements, written statements, and press conferences that usually happens once the new league year begins won’t happen. Instead, it likely will be a slower, more gradual process as physicals are performed in a more deliberate manner than usual.

Even then, forget about press conferences until team facilities open again.

16 responses to “Welcome to new league year . . . now keep waiting

  1. Boo hoo it seems like someone is upset they didnt take his idea and postpone the league year.

  2. So teams can reneg and players can shop the deal. This process is ridiculous this year. They should have just waited to begin FA unless these deals are binding.

    If things get worse as projected, they could have done FA in the fall and reduced the season if it can be saved. Both camps dropped the ball along with the puppet commissioner.

  3. I for one, am outraged that the NFL didn’t delay free agency. In these bleak economic times, it is disgusting to see these teams pay millions of dollars to athletes instead of teachers or healthcare work- Tom Brady is going where?! Bill O’Brien did what?! The Bengals did something?!

    For a couple days, we’ve had a distraction from COVID-19. Thanks, NFL.

  4. There’s no tampering, so any team in theory could continue to pursue anyone player who has a deal reported through the media. Even trades, the Bears could reach a deal for Dalton and back out the Foles deal. Wild Wild West.

  5. Read the print folks. Only trades REQUIRE a physical. FA contracts do not. They can sign free agents, but the big trades that happened cannot be finalized without physicals.

  6. Just quit with the “Legal Tampering” period already. What good was it the past few years.
    It’s stupid. The NFL had guidelines when they started it,… and it’s been abused ever since.

  7. Might not be required but physicals are necessary with the financial commitment. Might find insurance issues without it also.

  8. Guessing the team doctors have offices outside team facilities as well, so can’t the player be put on a chartered plane and fly to the doctor to be examined? IF it rises to that level of criticallity.

  9. With no NBA or Major league baseball to talk about I’m forced to like the NFL off season,,,
    I can say one thing is it has been quite interesting

  10. thewanderer says:
    March 18, 2020 at 4:33 pm
    I for one, am outraged that the NFL didn’t delay free agency. In these bleak economic times, it is disgusting to see these teams pay millions of dollars to athletes instead of teachers or healthcare work- Tom Brady is going where?! Bill O’Brien did what?! The Bengals did something?!

    For a couple days, we’ve had a distraction from COVID-19. Thanks, NFL
    _______
    So…. The NFL is responsible for paying teachers and health care workers.
    Got it.

  11. Also, thanks so much Mike for stirring up a meaningless rumor about free agency being canceled, we all really appreciate it.

  12. Sunday Swami says:
    March 18, 2020 at 4:15 pm
    Boo hoo it seems like someone is upset they didnt take his idea and postpone the league year.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    And his airplane tickets to Las Vegas for the draft are nonrefundable

  13. crush22 says:
    March 18, 2020 at 6:15 pm
    thewanderer says:
    March 18, 2020 at 4:33 pm
    I for one, am outraged that the NFL didn’t delay free agency. In these bleak economic times, it is disgusting to see these teams pay millions of dollars to athletes instead of teachers or healthcare work- Tom Brady is going where?! Bill O’Brien did what?! The Bengals did something?!

    For a couple days, we’ve had a distraction from COVID-19. Thanks, NFL
    _______
    So…. The NFL is responsible for paying teachers and health care workers.
    Got it.

    ———————-
    The NFL is not responsible for paying teachers and health care workers. I guess the sarcastic font didn’t work, but I was poking at the author for insisting that the NFL delay free agency because of the optics of giving million dollar contracts away during a rough economic stretch. His sentiments, not mine.

    I was genuinely thanking the NFL for providing a much needed distraction. Free Agency has not been dull this year, and with no other sports on the landscape, this was very much needed, in my opinion.

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