NFL league year to begin on time; free agency starts Wednesday

Mar 15, 2020, 4:11 PM

Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with teammates after scoring a t...

Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown in the second half of the NFL game against the Atlanta Falcons at State Farm Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Falcons 34-33. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

Amid all the sports cancellations, there’s one piece of good news for fans:

The NFL league year will not be delayed.

The NFL sent a memo to teams informing them that the league year will start on time and free agency will begin Wednesday.

Negotiations between teams and free agents can begin Monday morning at 9 a.m. Arizona time.

Despite other major United States sports leagues including the NBA, NHL and MLB postponing games due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL felt confident proceeding with its offseason as scheduled because, among other reasons, large crowds of people won’t gather for free agency and travel isn’t a requirement to sign new contracts.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano outlined those reasons in a tweet and added that the NFL feared that if they pushed back the start date, the situation would get worse and put them more behind schedule.

The NFL and players association announced the new collective bargaining agreement was approved Sunday morning by a vote of 1,019 to 959.

Among approved items includes a 17-game regular season that will begin sometime between 2021 and 2023, according to Until that approval, seasons will remain 16 games.

Beginning this season, there will be an extra wildcard team in both conferences.

The 2020 salary cap will be set at $198.2 million and $44.7 million in benefits.

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