Potential Changes to NFL Offseason

Al Bello

I react to the news that we might see changes to the offseason's structure with bad jokes, classical references, and Doctor Who allusions. Also analysis, if you are into that sort of thing.

The world needs a joke about the over-saturation of mock drafts like the world needs more mock drafts, but just as Tantalus could never stray from low-hanging fruit, it appears that I must indulge myself. Yes, the NFL and the Players Association are discussing the possibility of moving the NFL Draft from mid-to-late April to sometime in May. And this means more precious time to craft the all-important mock drafts.

In addition to the potential change in draft scheduling, the NFL and NFLPA might move the start of the new league schedule to before the combine. Free agency might start in early April, which would be after the combine in March.

This could have a few consequences for free agency, and it really isn't helpful to speculate what consequences these would be, yet, since the exact starting date of FA under this new schedule is still unknown. If free agency ends up being earlier, due to the earlier start of the league year, then it makes it more difficult on teams to sign big name players without having seen the nascent rookie class at the combine. But, if the start of FA does get pushed back to April I imagine players (and thus the NFLPA) might not be too happy. Generally it seems like players prefer to get signed quickly so that they, you know, have a job and a new place to live. What whiners.

Ultimately this news leaves me asking, to what end, NFL? To what end? I just don't understand why this is a priority. The NFL seems incapable of leaving something alone, instead wishing to make the offseason more wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey than a Steven Moffat screenplay (John Hurt, ftw!). Instinctively, though? It's about the money. In my mind, the NFL Draft is the epitome of the NFL's attitude toward making money -- which is, let's do a lot of it. Now, I don't mind that too much. I like the NFL and want it to provide me the best product it can. If having money makes that easier, then great! But, when it comes to the Draft, the NFL doesn't care about being subtle. Not at all. It's one of the most ostentatious celebrations of pulling in money for almost no reason (and I'm guilty, because I watch it and all those commercials are boring their way into my brain). So, I am going to guess that if the NFL moves the date of the draft for any reason, we can probably start looking at their wallets.

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