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NFL shuts down pre-draft travel and pre-draft visits

Mike Florio and MDS break down the current logistics of holding the NFL draft and what the alternatives could be if it delayed or changed.

The NFL has spoken. Finally.

With plenty of teams shutting down pre-draft travel by scouts and coaches and pre-draft visits to team facilities (the Dolphins hosted Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins for a pre-draft visit on Friday), the NFL has stepped in and shut it all down.

The NFL has sent a memo to all teams ending pre-draft travel and pre-draft visits. This means no more attendance at Pro Day workouts, no more attendance at private workouts, no travel to any location to meet with prospects, and no pre-draft visits to team headquarters.

The move comes at a time when many American businesses have implemented measures for minimizing social contact in order to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The memo allows telephone or videoconferences with prospects, through any day prior to the draft. All such interactions must be reported to the league, and teams can conduct no more than three such interactions per week per player. Each conference can last no longer than one hour.

“We have not taken this step lightly but believe that it is most consistent with protecting the health of our club personnel, draft eligible players, and the public,” the memo explains. “It also has the ancillary benefit of ensuring competitive equity.”

Indeed it does. With most teams doing the right thing, others saw an opportunity to pounce. It was wise and prudent for the league to shut these visits down.