USA TODAY Sports
The NFL is looking for ways to extend the offseason, keeping the excitement of the sport in the spotlight longer (read: making more money). The current idea floating is to adjust the calendar, which would ultimately move the NFL Draft from April to May.
This season, the NFL regular season ended in December. The Super Bowl was played in early February. The NFL Scouting Combine is at the end of February. The league year changes in mid March, which kicks off free agency. The NFL Draft is at the end of April. Then, the league sort of drops of the map in May and June before training camps start in July and August, with the regular season starting again in September.
At least, that's how the league is set up now. According to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, that's not how the league may be in upcoming years.
NFL is proposing to overhaul its calendar, pushing back the combine to early March, free agency to early April, and the draft to early May.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 22, 2013
Idea of overhauled calendar is to lengthen NFL off-season and make football relevant over longerperiod with one big event each month.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 22, 2013
As Schefter points out, the league would have one major event each month from February (the Super Bowl) through May, meaning June would be the only "dead" month on the league calendar. This would keep the NFL in the news, and keep fans interested in the game for longer.
It would also give teams more time to put together their offseason plans. But, for a team that did not make the playoffs, they already have two months of preparation, from the start of January to the first of March. Is lengthening it even more a necessity?
The idea could also backfire on the league. One of the great things about the current calendar is how quickly fans from teams that struggled in the previous season, can begin dreaming about the offseason and the next year. Moving everything back could mean fans lose interest in January and February, especially after the Super Bowl, and, ultimately, fans lose interest in things like the NFL Scouting Combine.
The NFL changing its offseason calendar makes sense to some degree, but it also has ramifications that could hurt the league. Can fans reach an over-saturation of the NFL? Will moving the start of the new league year back cause fans of bottom tier teams to stray?
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.