In the midst of the growing national concerns about the spread of coronavirus, the NFL has decided not to postpone the start of the new league year, as first reported by ESPN’s Josina Anderson and since confirmed by an official memo sent out to teams. That means the start of free agency—with the tampering period scheduled to begin at noon on Monday—will not be delayed and will proceed without disruption.
So from noon ET on Monday afternoon until 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, NFL teams will be allowed to negotiate with agents of players set to become free agents. No deals are official until Wednesday, but oftentimes teams and agents agree to deals on principal as early as Monday afternoon.
One potential hiccup in free agency is the official visit. While many of the top-tier players will be signed without an on-site workout, some of the second and third-tier players would typically visit teams before deciding where to sign. It’s unclear how the coronavirus will impact those instances at the moment, as well as the necessary physical before any free agent signings are official.
And while free agency will proceed without disruption, it appears the NFL Draft will not take place at its scheduled date of April 23-25 in Las Vegas. Andy Slater is reporting the NFL has already informed host hotels in Vegas that the event is off, and Pro Football Weekly’s Hub Arkush is reporting that the NFL Draft will not take place until at least late May. The NFL has yet to comment officially on the status of the draft, however.