King: 'Roger Goodell Has to Know How Angry Football Team Personnel Are with Him'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2020

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Miami, the day after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 54. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is reportedly drawing the ire of some football personnel for still holding the draft from April 23 to April 25.

"Roger Goodell has to know how angry football team personnel are with him right now," Peter King of NBC Sports wrote.

King noted some are unhappy that they have been unable to meet in person or scout players at their pro days because of travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. Such restrictions have limited the typical scouting time devoted to prospects leading up to the draft.

Others were not pleased with Goodell's quote threatening disciplinary action for criticizing the draft process when he said, "Public discussion of issues in relation to the draft serves no useful purpose and is grounds for disciplinary action."

One source texted King, "Why on earth would you ever threaten an opinion," while another said, "Whatever happened to freedom of speech?"

The draft will no longer be a public event in front of thousands of fans in Las Vegas with the commissioner embracing players after their names are called. All public activities surrounding the draft that were supposed to occur in the Raiders' new home city have been canceled because of the coronavirus.

King also noted Goodell will likely address concerns about competitive fairness when it comes to draft rooms and team headquarters. There could be situations in some states where there are lockdowns and closings of non-essential businesses but not others, so the commissioner will likely "order that every building remain closed."

Even with these changes, the NFL has been impacted less than many other leagues to this point.

The NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS have all suspended their seasons, while events such as the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the Masters, the Kentucky Derby and the French Open were all postponed. The NCAA canceled winter and spring championships, including the men's and women's basketball tournaments.

As of Monday, the World Health Organization confirmed there have been more than 638,000 cases of the coronavirus across the globe.

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