The threat of the coronavirus has suspended the NBA, MLS, and NHL seasons, and fans wonder if the NFL will follow their lead? Even though the season just ended a little over a month ago, the new league year in the NFL is set to begin later this month. On Thursday, the league announced that they will not be holding their annual meetings scheduled for the end of this month in Florida, but the start of the league year is going on as scheduled.
Over the course of the last 24 hours, major sports leagues have suspended or postponed their seasons. Tennis and soccer matches have been canceled. The NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments have been canceled, and opening day in Major League Baseball has been pushed back by at least two weeks.
ESPN reported that the NFL is keeping a close eye on the coronavirus pandemic, but they will not adjust the start of the new league year. The annual meetings scheduled for March 29 through April 1 have been canceled, but any business matters requiring votes will take place at the spring meetings in California on May 19-20, 2020.
A statement sent out by the NFL detailed what they are doing and that this is all being done for the safety of teams and league employees.Despite the fact that the start of the new league year is not being delayed, many teams have already restricted travel for coaches and scouts. This could greatly affect the NFL Draft next month, as well as the impending start of free agency.
Some teams have even chosen to close down their training facilities in order to keep their players healthy and safe.ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on his Twitter account that the closing down of team facilities could make things very hard on them. While it is very important for the safety of everyone, the NFL not delaying the start of the league year means that teams such as the Eagles will have to find ways to organize everything away from their war rooms.
Teams now know that they still need to be prepared for the 2020 league year, which is set to begin at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 18. Agents for pending free agents may begin speaking to other teams as of noon ET on Monday, while franchise and transition tags must be assigned by 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday.
The NFL is taking measures in keeping everyone safe from the threat of the coronavirus, but they are not suspending all operations as other sports leagues are doing. Right now, the NBA hasn't even said how long the season will be suspended, but time and awareness will be telling.