National Football League wants to keep 2020 Draft on schedule for April 23-25

MARCH-23

According to numerous reports, the general managers voted 6-1 to move the draft back, but a number of owners want the draft dates to remain unchanged.

These facility closures - sparked by the spread of the novel coronavirus - will continue until at least April 8, when the league "will assess the advice from medical experts and public health authorities to determine whether it is safe and appropriate for facilities to reopen or to extend the period of closure".

Instead, the league has made plans to hold the draft via phone and has put limits on how many individuals can be in each team's war room.

The new mandate will "largely reflect" the current restrictions now in place in most states in the country because of the coronavirus pandemic, the report says. The draft is still expected to be televised.

Roger Goodell and the league's higher-ups released a memo that facilities of the 32 NFL teams must be shut down.

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"This decision reflects our foremost priority - the health and safety of all fans and citizens", commissioner Roger Goodell said in his statement last week.

According to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini, the league's GM subcommittee has unanimously recommended that the draft be push back to the coronavirus outbreak.

Some NFL teams already had closed facilities; others had very limited personnel in the building.

As of Wednesday morning, more than 55,000 cases have been reported in the USA, with 801 deaths and 354 people recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking the outbreak using combined data sources.

Their implementation, however, will not prevent teams from signing players, evaluating draft-eligible prospects and selling tickets for next season. "Please be assured that the National Football League is well-positioned to meet these operational challenges as we prepare to offer our fans and the country an outstanding 2020 National Football League season".

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