The NFL and the NFL Players Association are closing in on a deal that would change the league's offseason schedule, including delaying the NFL Draft from April to May. ESPN's Adam Schefter is, of course, all over the possibility:
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
NFL and NFLPA are close to enacting these calendar changes for the next three years.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 20, 2013
The idea of a change to the league's current offseason schedule started a couple of months ago, with a rumor that the NFL was looking to make one big event happen every month from February to May, keeping the league in the news over an extended period of time. The fact that they are moving on it this fast, with it potentially beginning in 2014, is a little surprising.
According to Schefter's tweets, the league would the start of the league year to before the Scouting Combine. Currently, the Combine takes place at the end of February each year in Indianapolis. Could this signify that the Combine would be moved out of February and into March?
And, if the league year is to start before the Combine, potentially free agency would become a February event each year.
The other possibility, keeping with the goal of one event each month, could see the league year stay in early- to mid-March, while the Combine jumps from the end of February to early April. That would give the league the Super Bowl in February, free agency in March, the Combine in April, and the Draft in May. June would then be the only calendar month without a major event for the league, with July marking the start of training camps, the preseason opening in August, and the regular season and playoffs running from September to February.
The Draft change, really, is not that big a shift. Currently, it is held during the final week of April. If it moves back a week or two into May, that just means more time for death-by-mock-draft. And, after the draft, OTAs and training camp would be closer.
What do you think of the idea?