As noted in an earlier ROTB post, the NFL is on the verge of moving the NFL Draft back into the month of May. The dates that are coming out change the weekend from year to year, but it would be the first of a few offseason calendar changes.
In 2014, the NFL Draft, rather than the last weekend in April, will be May 15-17, and then moved to May 7-9 in 2015 and May 6-8 in 2016.
The league has the power to change the date of the Draft without collective bargaining with the NFLPA, but other changes, including the date of the NFL Scouting Combine and the beginning of the league year, must be changed via negotiation.
What is being proposed is that the Combine be moved from late February to mid March, after the beginning of the league year (this year the start was March 12). The start of the league year could also be pushed up a little earlier in March.
While these are things that would have to be negotiated, it would appear that the NFLPA would be amenable to such changes. An earlier start to the league year means free agents get signed earlier and get paid earlier. By putting the Combine after the start of the year, then there can be more of a focus on the current NFL players in free agency, perhaps allowing more of the second and third tier free agents to find teams and get contracts before the teams are going all out with the draft.
As for the draft, it allows teams a little more prep time, as well as players.
The one thing that it would do, though, is give rookies less time with their teams, which has been something that has led to more and more rookies playing earlier.
The effect? More mock drafts and speculation! It gives us a little less lag time between the Super Bowl and free agency. Then it gives us less down time between the draft and training camp.
In the end, more football, more of the time.
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