NFL Draft 2020 to go on as scheduled, Roger Goodell tells teams

The 2020 NFL Draft will take place as scheduled from April 23-25, commissioner Roger Goodell told teams in a memo Thursday.

Goodell said the Commissioner’s Executive Committee, which met earlier in the day, was unanimous in not rescheduling the draft because of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.

“Everyone recognizes that public health conditions are highly uncertain and there is no assurance that we can select a different date and be confident that conditions will be significantly more favorable than they are today,” Goodell wrote in the memo, as reported by NFL.com.

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The league had already canceled public events around the draft, which was to be held in Las Vegas, the new home of the Raiders. Teams will now draft remotely.

“All clubs should now be doing the necessary planning to conduct Draft operations in a location outside of your facility, with a limited number of people present, and with sufficient technology resources to allow you to communicate internally, with other clubs, and with Draft headquarters,” Goodell wrote.

The league reached a similar conclusion in mid-March when it decided to start the 2020 league year on time. Free agents were allowed to negotiate with teams and agree to contracts, subject to physical exams. The transactions gave the NFL a monopoly on media coverage while all the other U.S. professional leagues remained on hiatus because of the coronavirus emergency.

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