The Redskins suspended all travel for their scouts and coaches due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus.
"Due to health and travel concerns surrounding COVID-19, we have informed all of our scouts and coaches that they must return to their home bases and travel will be suspended until further notice. The health and safety of our staff and players is our number one priority and we feel that these are the necessary precautions given the current circumstances," Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement.
The news comes with less than a week before the new NFL year is set to open on March 18th. With the new league year also comes the opening of free agency for players, usually one of the busiest times of the year in professional football.
Free agency typically includes players, scouts, coaches and agents flying all over the country in search of new teams and major contracts.
Beyond free agency, the NFL Draft looms just a little more than a month away in late April. A big part of the pre-draft process normally requires coaches, scouts and players extensively traveling. Each NFL team is allotted 30 official visits from draft-eligible players and various colleges host Pro Days to bring scouts in to watch college prospects.
Ohio State, one of the best college football teams in the country, is scheduled to host its Pro Day on March 25th. The plan is for defensive end Chase Young to work out there after he eschewed workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine. Young is one of the best prospects in the draft and a very realistic option for the Redskins with the second overall pick.
Much is unclear. As other professional sports are forced to deal with games being canceled or postponed, the NFL doesn't have games scheduled for six months and those decisions aren't pressing.
What is pressing is free agency, and soon after, the draft. The Redskins and Snyder made a strong move towards caution and the health and safety of employees before those events.
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