NFL and NFLPA "On The Verge" Of Changing Offseason Dates

Jason Miller

Reports surfaced on Monday that the league and NFLPA could strike an agreement soon that would push the NFL draft to May.

Everything is going to change.

That's the theme of a recent report by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, reporting that the NFL and NFL Players Association are "on the verge of a deal" that would change the offseason schedule.

Some reports cite a scheduling conflict for next year's draft as for the change, though the NFL has reportedly wanted this change for some time. One Ian Rapoport tweet suggested that the draft could be held on May 15. The scheduling change could begin as soon as the 2014 NFL draft, but only as a one-year trial, though Schefter cited three years (which we assume is part of a one-year trial). Mike Garafolo with the USA Today says that the NFLPA has only recently received the proposal and no agreement has even been discussed.

Albert Breer with the NFL Network reiterates that report.

Pro Football Talk explains:

...the change means that the Combine no longer would be the league’s annual tampering swap meet. The market already would be open, and agents would be trying to do deals with teams instead of merely laying the foundation for those deals in a way that violates NFL rules.

The league had wanted to move the Combine to March, to delay the launch of free agency to April, and to nudge the draft to May. The NFLPA wisely balked, since it would delay the transfer of offseason funds from teams to players.

Why can't the league just change the dates? Technically they can. However, according to reports, they'll need NFLPA approval to change the league year to before the NFL Combine.

In the meantime, a certain writer writing this post is gauging his eyes out of their sockets at the prospect of dealing with another month's worth mock drafts.

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