NFL still planning to operate business as usual for new league year despite coronavirus pandemic, per report

While the rest of the American sports world has shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak (get the latest at CBS News), the NFL is continuing apace with its offseason. Even amid the cancellation of facility visits, pro days, workouts and more, the league is planning to operate business as usual and open the new league year next week, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter. 

The so-called “legal tampering” period ahead of free agency is currently set to begin on Monday, March 16, while free agency will officially open on Wednesday, March 18. With teams expressing skepticism that they would be able to conduct business, the league may have to delay things whether it likes it or not. 

According to Schefter’s ESPN colleague Jeremy Fowler, meanwhile, the league also still plans to go ahead with the draft in late April, and does not plan to move it from its current Las Vegas location. The league is, however, having discussions with the local authorities regarding what to do about crowds.

Cities around the country — including several that house NFL teams — continue to ban mass gatherings while government and medical personnel encourage people to engage in social-distancing tactics. That goes for NFL players, prospects, coaches, executives and owners just as it does for everyone else. The league would be wise to act accordingly.

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