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NFL’s ‘new league year’ so far still planning to open March 18

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COVID-19 concerns have now reached the NFL, and it may impact the opening of the new league year.

As Disneyland, Broadway, Coachella, South x Southwest and March Madness have all canceled or closed down temporarily - and several major professional sports including the NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL plus the just-getting-started XFL, have already been forced to cancel or suspend their seasons due to COVID-19 concerns, the NFL has been fortunate enough to not really be “in season” yet.

Except that the new league year officially starts next week - and executives are scrambling with “next steps.”

Although NFL executives talked about possibly suspending the start of the league year even as NFL teams were canceling pro days and team visits, as of now the league is still planning to open the year as planned on March 18.

But Pro Football Talk reported Thursday night that a league source said the NFL is still contemplating announcing on Sunday a delay in the start of free agency but is waiting until after voting on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement closes before making a final decision.

The NFL also canceled its annual owners meeting, which had been scheduled March 29-April 1 in Palm Beach, Florida.

Rule changes and other football-related items will now be debated and voted upon at the NFL’s May 19-21 meeting.

Looming on the horizon, however, is the NFL Draft, scheduled for April 23-25 in Las Vegas.

Though Roger Goodell will have a little bit of time to see how COVID-19 continues to spread or decline over the next month, fans are surely wondering whether heading to Vegas to stand with hundreds of thousands of their closest new friends, high-fiving each other after their team’s announcement is such a great idea.

Jess Place, Tim Lynch and I discussed this possibility in our recent podcast - along with other more interesting football topics like our must-haves in free agency.

At the time of recording the podcast, I was sure the NFL would wait as long as possible before canceling the draft. But after the slew of sports and entertainment cancellations hitting America in domino-like fashion, I’d say there’s a much-better-than-average chance that it doesn’t happen.

What do you think, Broncos Country?

Poll

What are the odds the 2020 NFL Draft event is canceled?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    100 percent
    (32 votes)
  • 75%
    It will be canceled for fans at the event, but the Draft will still go on.
    (271 votes)
  • 15%
    Nah...the Draft is over a month away; no need to worry about it yet.
    (55 votes)
358 votes total Vote Now

Broncos/NFL news

Coronavirus pandemic putting NFL scouting process on hold – The Athletic
With many teams suspending team-related travel for 30 days, scouts are being told to go home and prospect visits are being canceled.

COVID-19 and sports: Latest news and information (updated) – The Athletic
The latest from The Athletic reporters, as well as other significant news on the coronavirus and sports.

Testing Adam Silver: Why the NBA commissioner is no match for the coronavirus – The Athletic
Finding Patient Zero was one thing. Getting all the answers about who’s infected and who’s not in time to salvage a season is quite another.

Four. Three. Nine: Davion Taylor hopes blazing 40 at pro day raises draft stock – Athletic
Taylor improved his combine time by 0.10 seconds — and did so in front of 32 representatives from 25 different NFL teams.

XFL suspends 2020 regular season, committed to '21 - NFL.com
The XFL is the latest American sports league to suspend play amid concerns regarding the new coronavirus known as COVID-19.

Building an elite defense: Examining which impending defensive free agents could fit in Denver
Which player could join Vic Fangio's defense when free agency begins next week.

Broncos address evolving COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation with employees
The Broncos communicated the organization's plans on Thursday.

NFL has canceled Annual League Meeting in March - NFL.com
The NFL Annual League Meeting in Florida scheduled for March 29-April 1 has been canceled due to concerns regarding the coronavirus, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported.

Multiple NFL teams suspend travel due to coronavirus - NFL.com
Multiple NFL teams suspended their pro day travel Thursday due the growing concerns surrounding the new coronavirus known as COVID-19, but the new league year is still set to begin as scheduled this coming Wednesday.

Teams altering pre-draft travel plans due to coronavirus - NFL.com
Some NFL teams are altering their pre-draft travel plans as a precaution in the face of rising concerns about the coronavirus, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday.

XFL suspends 2020 regular season, committed to '21 - NFL.com
The XFL is the latest American sports league to suspend play amid concerns regarding the new coronavirus known as COVID-19.

Building an elite defense: Examining which impending defensive free agents could fit in Denver
Which player could join Vic Fangio's defense when free agency begins next week.

Broncos address evolving COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation with employees
The Broncos communicated the organization's plans on Thursday.

NFL has canceled Annual League Meeting in March - NFL.com
The NFL Annual League Meeting in Florida scheduled for March 29-April 1 has been canceled due to concerns regarding the coronavirus, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported.

Multiple NFL teams suspend travel due to coronavirus - NFL.com
Multiple NFL teams suspended their pro day travel Thursday due the growing concerns surrounding the new coronavirus known as COVID-19, but the new league year is still set to begin as scheduled this coming Wednesday.

Teams altering pre-draft travel plans due to coronavirus - NFL.com
Some NFL teams are altering their pre-draft travel plans as a precaution in the face of rising concerns about the coronavirus, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday.