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Memo tells teams to prepare for virtual NFL Draft amid coronavirus pandemic

Detailed view of the NFL logo on the pitch during the NFL match between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 13, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

The NFL does not plan to change the dates of the draft, but there will be one major change in how it’s conducted.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted a league memo on Monday that advised teams of the change, which will entail conducting the draft remotely over the phone and internet. Specifically, “clubs have been advised to prepare to conduct the 2020 Draft entirely outside of their facilities and in a fully virtual format, with club personnel in separate locations.”

The draft is expected to take place April 23 to 25.

The memo said all club facilities have been closed since March 26 in an effort to protect personnel, “model appropriate behavior” and ensure competitive equity between all the teams.

The Arizona Cardinals hold the No. 8 pick in the draft. They do not own a second-round pick after trading pick No. 40 to the Houston Texans as part of the DeAndre Hopkins/David Johnson deal.

Because the NFL is still so early in its offseason, the league year has largely continued as scheduled despite the coronavirus outbreak.

Other leagues that are in the middle of a season, including the NBA, NHL and MLB, have been postponed. The WNBA season, which was scheduled to begin May 15, has been postponed.

While the NFL season calendar has largely gone as planned, some events including the annual winter meetings have been canceled.

There have been larger changes, too: The NFL and players association passed the new collective bargaining agreement, which includes an expanded postseason. One more team in each conference will make the playoffs, giving both seven total teams and removing the bye week for the second seed.


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