According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, the NFL is proposing a new offseason calendar in an effort to make football relevant year-round. This proposal is being pursued aggressively by the league officials, but ultimately requires the approval of the Players Association in order to move forward.
If the NFL succeeds in passing this proposal, the offseason timeline will be drastically altered. The combine would be held in March, free agency would start in April, and the draft would be pushed back to May. The NFL is already the most popular sport in America, so one wonders why the league would tamper with an already successful recipe.
The answer is twofold. Altering the normal offseason schedule creates a nice, two-week cushion in which the NFL can add a couple more regular season games. The league has been very vocal about lengthening the regular season and this proposal would be the first step towards their desired 18-game season. Furthermore, by stretching out the typical offseason events so that they each have their own month, the NFL hopes to make football relevant for a longer period of time. Sustained interest in the sport means more money for the league, and a year-long schedule would maximize the NFL's profits.
The proposal would also have all NFL teams starting their training camps on the same day, which would then become the official launch of the football season.