Packers Morning Buzz: NFL should delay free agency, push draft back to mid-May

Stu Courtney
Packers News
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The NFL faces some big decisions about the offseason in the wake of the coronavirus.

Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at

We'll start with Jarrett Bell of USA TODAY Sports writing that the NFL has been slow to react to the staggering impact of the coronavirus and, among other steps, should push back the April draft.

Bell writes:

The three-day event is slated to begin on April 23 in Las Vegas. What’s the harm in conducting a mid-May draft? I’m sure there are economic issues and staging considerations. But things happen. Years ago, after Sept. 11, 2001, the league was forced to move a Super Bowl, for crying out loud. Pushing back the draft, which might attract hundreds of thousands to the Vegas strip, would be sensible enough. Just buy a little time, which would help with the adjustment.

It's not clear whether the NFL would consider a draft without fans, but they should. Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis said the league is working with the NFL Players Association and state and local officials.

“They’re making a measured decision,” Davis told The Dallas Morning News. “Health and safety will always be No. 1.”

The entire story can be found here:

The NFL still says there's no talk of pushing back Wednesday's scheduled start of the league's new year, but Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes that could (and should) change.

Florio writes:

Per a league source, the NFL currently is contemplating the possibility of announcing on Sunday a delay in the start of free agency. The league wants to wait until after voting on the CBA closes before making a final decision, in order to prevent further delays to the CBA voting process.

The league is keenly aware of the optics of players agreeing to terms on multi-million-dollar deals while the rest of the nation is adjusting to what will still be as of next week the early days of the coronavirus crisis. Likewise, with teams closing facilities, the traditional practice of new players showing up and signing contracts and conducting press conferences and holding up new jerseys can’t happen next week.

Florio's entire post is here:

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report wriites that schedule disruptions are inevitable and could linger throughout the NFL offseason.

Freeman writes:

Several team sources think that the next big change will be OTAs. Coaches believe they will be pushed back or possibly canceled. Several are preparing for the possibility that training camps, and even the preseason schedule, will be disrupted. ...

Players told B/R they are preparing for a lot of contingencies, especially in light of how other leagues are handling the outbreak, including the NBA's decision to suspend its season and MLB's announcement that it would cancel the rest of spring training and delay the start of the season.

Given the sudden shutdown of meaningful games, these players say they would not be surprised if the NFL does something similar with offseason workouts.

You can read the full story here:

The Packers are shutting down operations at Lambeau Field and Titletown for two weeks, and the NFL canceled its owners meeting. Richard Ryman has details:

New Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is dealing with delays:

Pro days are being pushed back, including a big one here:

Packers coach Matt LaFleur made some key moves on his coaching staff:

Green Bay made tight end Jimmy Graham's release official:

Former Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey reportedly made a free-agent visit to Green Bay:

Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt

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