Like every other sports league, COV-ID 19 has effected the NFL this offseason. The league has had to postpone OTAs, cancel activities outside the upcoming draft, and banned any in-person visits for both free agents and draft prospects.
NFL Changes Offseason
Already mentioned above some of the offseason changes the NFL has put in place to keep players, coaches, and fans safe during this time of uncertainty. In more detail, the draft will happen on the third week of April as planned. But, the league is still working on if it will stay at its current location, which is less likely or just has ESPN broadcast it from ESPN.
Update on the 2020 NFL Draft pic.twitter.com/zeibQdPgWu
— NFL (@NFL) March 16, 2020
When it comes to free agency, It’s taking a lot longer than normal for players to get officially signed. Teams are having a difficult time with physicals since there are no one-on-one interactions. This has slowed the process down on officially inking players to their new contracts. For example, Tom Brady, who has signed with the Buccaneers, has scheduled an independent doctor physical to get his contract approved. In normal circumstance the team doctor would perform the physical.
There are even reports that some contracts have coronavirus clauses in them to protect the team in case the player fails their physical. ESPN Insider Adam Schefter talks about this very topic
Schefter outlines all the offseason changes and the possibility of future changes as well.
Experiencing Something New
Executive and coached arel getting used to empty facilities and working from home. Facilities all across the league have very few people inside them these days.
Executives are doing all their business from home. That includes contracts, trades, and any other team decision. They have had to adapt to this new way of running their respective organization from their office.
Across the National Football League, players have been on Twitter posting about the coronavirus. Some have been impacted, some are keeping it lighthearted, and all are taking it seriously.
It was reported yesterday that Saints coach Sean Payton tested positive for coronavirus. He is the first person in the NFL to test positive and he is taking it one day at a time.
Appreciate the well wishes. I'm feeling better and fortunate to not have any of the respiratory symptoms. 4 more days at home.#BEATCovid pic.twitter.com/vvjbnqoeZx
— Sean Payton (@SeanPayton) March 19, 2020
Todd Gurley was released by the LA Rams Thursday. His post joked about both his release and the coronavirus quarantine.
Some other players like Panthers safety Tre Boston also took a more humorous approach to the situation
Despite some of the jokes, every player is taking the threat seriously like former Panthers and Giants running back Jonathan Stewart.
Prayers up to everyone tonight!
— Jonathan Stewart (@Jonathanstewar1) March 12, 2020
Quarterback Jared Goff posted about a local food bank to bring awareness to those in need of food at this time
Visit @LAFOODBANK for more on how you can make a difference. Stay safe everyone! pic.twitter.com/vkqsPV07Bb
— Jared Goff (@JaredGoff16) March 19, 2020
Teams are paying those in the organization and parts of their community to provide for those close to the organization.
A message from 49ers President @AlGuido: pic.twitter.com/cpLkxUxWTc
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) March 19, 2020
The entire NFL is taking the changes in stride and is working together to figure out the best option for all those involved including the fans.