Sean Payton Believes NFL Free Agency Could Be Delayed Over Coronavirus Concerns

David Kaestle
Sean Payton thinks the NFL will delay its new league year and coming events.
Sean Payton thinks the NFL will delay its new league year and coming events. / Twitter: @TVG

We're now on day four without sports. Concerns over the outbreak of COVID-19 have brought the sports world to a halt in a way none of us have seen in our lifetime. The NBA and NHL have both suspended their seasons and MLB Opening Day, originally slated for March 26, has been delayed.

However, the NFL, which is in the middle of its offseason, has yet to change any plans for the time being. NFL free agency is set to begin on March 18. However, some people within the league, including New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, believe that could change in the coming days.

In a recent interview with FanDuel, when asked about the start of the NFL's new league year and free agency, Payton said, "that's going to be, I think, pushed back, because there's a lot that goes into that, there's a lot of visits players take."

With "social distancing" being a widely prescribed method for reducing the impact of the pandemic, free agents going from city to city and team to team, trying to decide where they will sign, poses some obvious issues.

The NFL Draft is the next offseason item on the docket, which as of now is still scheduled for its original date of Thursday, April 23 through Saturday, April 25.

in regards to the Draft, Payton offered this, "I don't know if that's going to change date-wise, certainly the format's going to change relative to what they're used to."

What that new format actually entails is up in the air, but it's hard to imagine that, in this climate, either Roger Goodell or the players are excited about gathering in a massive group for a day filled with handshakes and meet-and-greets.

It seems as though even the NFL is destined to be affected, despite being the only of the four major American pro sports leagues that didn't have any games planned for the foreseeable future.

One thing is for sure — regardless of which path the NFL decides to take moving forward, decisions will have to be made swiftly, with just a few days left remaining until the league year is set to kick off.

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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.