The NFL doesn’t know how the pandemic will affect plans for the 2020 season. And the Commissioner wants teams to refrain from discussing the subject.
In a memo sent Wednesday to all teams, a copy of which PFT has obtained, Roger Goodell instructs all teams, via their chief executives and presidents, to zip it when it comes to comments about the coming season.
“The past few months have been among the most uncertain times that any of us has experienced,” Goodell writes. “It is impossible to project what the next few months will bring. Uninformed commentary that speculates on how individual clubs or the league will address a range of hypothetical contingencies serves no constructive purpose and instead confuses our fans and business partners, complicates the operations of other clubs, and distracts from the careful planning that is needed right now. We will continue to work in a deliberate and thoughtful way to plan for the 2020 season, including with tomorrow’s schedule release, and we will be prepared to address any contingencies as they arise. Clubs should continue to direct questions and concerns to our office and not comment or speculate publicly.”
There’s a fine line between projected a united message and heavy-handedness, but this message makes more sense than the late March directive that anyone who questions the plans to proceed with the draft will be disciplined. With so many potential questions and possibilities and permutations, it makes no sense for mixed messages to come from the league office and one or more of the league’s 32 franchises.
The mere fact that the league office sent this message to all teams underscores the fact that, even though the NFL plans to proceed with the season, at this point no one knows how things will play out over the next few months.
Plans quite possibly will change, and the league office wants to be the sole source of information regarding any and all possibilities in this regard.