NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks with the media during a press conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center on February 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

Despite seemingly everything else in the sports world shutting down amid coronavirus concerns, the NFL new league year will start this week as planned. The NFL sent a memo to teams informing them of the decision on Sunday.

The franchise/transition tag deadline is Monday morning at 11:59:59 a.m. ET, and that’s followed by the free agency negotiating window opening at noon ET. The new league year begins with free agency officially opening at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday (and all teams must be under the $198.2 million salary cap).

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the NFLPA “would not provide consent to move (the) league year.” The reasoning is that there’s no traveling necessary, everyone is working remotely, and the pandemic could get worse before it gets better.

So, there’s actually something in sports to talk about (aside from league cancellations etc, of course), and this is especially a big thing for sports media outlets. No sports leagues in action makes covering sports quite difficult!

While this will definitely be a content boost for print journalism and online outlets, this only matters for TV outlets if they continue their in-studio operation. FS1 suspended production on their studio shows, and ESPN suspended production on PTI and their early-morning SportsCenter.

But if ESPN and NFL Network choose to continue with much live programming, the NFL offseason action should be able to provide plenty of needed content.

Update: ESPN continues its heavy coverage of NFL free agency coverage Wednesday.


About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at