NFL, NFLPA discussing the possibility of delaying start of 2020 free agency, per report

Now that the new NFL collective bargaining agreement has been approved, teams can operate under the new guidelines for the 2020 league year. While the new league year is scheduled to begin Wednesday, that may be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the United States. 

Per Pro Football Talk, the league is discussing delaying the start of free agency. The legal tampering period is scheduled to start Monday. Free agents are officially able to sign contracts when the new league year begins Wednesday. Players can still sign with teams, but those free agents will not be able to visit team facilities since they are closed. 

The NFL Annual Meeting, which was set for March 29 through April 1, was one of the first major offseason events to cancel. The league also banned college players taking top-30 visits to team facilities as teams have shut down their practice facilities due to the coronavirus outbreak over the past week. 

Teams can schedule no more than three telephone or video conferences with an individual draft-eligible player per week (Sunday through Saturday), per the new guidelines set by the NFL. Each conversation (telephone for video chat) can last no longer than one hour. Those meetings also cannot be conducted during a time that interferes with a player’s school schedule. 

The league is in a holding pattern until they decide what to do with the start of free agency, which will also alter the plans for the NFL Draft (scheduled for April 23 to 25 in Las Vegas). If free agency is delayed, chances are the draft will be pushed back or move to a remote location. 

All teams can do is sit and wait until the league makes an official decision. 

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