What Will Happen When the NFL Pushes Back Draft, Alters League Calendar?
The NFL is proving it follows Snoop Dogg's credo.
The league certainly keeps its mind on its money and its money on its mind.
ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted the following, which, in essence, was the resurfacing of rumors that arose in late February:
NFL and NFLPA are on verge of pushing back draft to May and moving up start of league year to before combine, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 20, 2013
Ready for year-round NFL?
Schefter then tweeted changes that could—or will likely—go into effect as early as 2014:
Proposed new league year would start before combine in 2015 and 2016. Change of draft to May effective in 2014.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 20, 2013
Looks like 2014 NFL draft will be held May 15-17. In 2015 and 2016, league year would start early March, combine mid-March.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 20, 2013
How will the NFL calendar change?
What will this all mean?
Right now, the only people who know the NFL's specific intentions regarding a change in schedule are high-ranking NFL and NFLPA officials.
However, this tweet from Schefter from February is extremely relevant now:
Idea of overhauled calendar is to lengthen NFL off-season and make football relevant over longer period with one big event each month.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 22, 2013
While no new developments have been reported about that idea as a whole, it may shed some light on what the NFL has in mind.
Pushing the draft back a few weeks would be pretty inconsequential, really. But if it precipitates more widespread change to the league calendar, it could be significant.
If the league year begins before the combine, it's safe to assume the always chaotic free-agency period would take place prior to the annual Under Armour Olympics. That would be a major alteration, as all 32 franchises would be forced to tweak their entire team-building strategy and scouting timeline altogether.
Will you care if the NFL draft is moved back?
With the draft in May, it would likely provide more time for prospects to be scrutinized and hyped—if that's even possible—but it would also give draft hopefuls and veterans more time to heal from injuries.
Adjusting to a shortened period to prepare for the regular season would probably be met with some initial criticism by coaches and players, but a two-week difference isn't monumental. Having said that, OTAs would start later, probably sometime in June, which clearly would cut into rookies learning their respective playbooks.
In all likelihood, the NFL would see an increase in profits if the rumored "one-event-per-month" strategy comes to fruition. And for a league that America can't get enough of, one with all the leverage, making money is the top priority.
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