The coronavirus pandemic has rocked the sports world with the NBA, MLB, and NHL each suspending operations until further notice and the NCAA canceling all of its winter and spring tournaments.
NFL organizations have taken precautionary measures by closing down team facilities. So far, that has been the extent of the coronavirus' affect on the NFL as it said Thursday it has no plans to move the start of the 2020 league year, which currently is set for Wednesday, March 18 at 4 p.m. ET.
That could change as soon as Sunday, per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.
According to Florio, the NFL is considering delaying the start of free agency once CBA voting closes.
Per a league source, the NFL currently is contemplating the possibility of announcing on Sunday a delay in the start of free agency. The league wants to wait until after voting on the CBA closes before making a final decision, in order to prevent further delays to the CBA voting process.
The league is keenly aware of the optics of players agreeing to terms on multi-million-dollar deals while the rest of the nation is adjusting to what will still be as of next week the early days of the coronavirus crisis. Likewise, with teams closing facilities, the traditional practice of new players showing up and signing contracts and conducting press conferences and holding up new jerseys can’t happen next week.
This, of course, would mean an even longer wait to find out which uniform soon-to-be free agent quarterback Tom Brady will wear in 2020.
The league's legal tampering period is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET on Monday, March 16, but that could change as well if the league opts to delay the start of the new league year.
Until the NFL makes that decision, it'll be business as usual (sort of) for the New England Patriots and the rest of the league.