By Michael Bennett
There is a rift in the NFL regarding its draft on April 23-25.
ESPN is reporting that the league plans to stick with its original schedule for this year’s draft despite a recommendation from the league’s general manager subcommittee to commissioner Roger Goodell on that it be moved back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
General managers are concerned that, in this current environment, with offseason activities and some teams’ facilities closed, there won’t be enough time for player physicals, gathering psychological testing, getting further verified information about the players and some teams having to conduct the draft from home. The GM subcommittee voted 6-1 to approve the recommendation, the sources said.
League sources have said it would be a competitive disadvantage to have some teams in their training facilities during the draft while teams in California, New Jersey and other hard-hit areas would be in lockdown and unable to be in their teams’ buildings.
The league still has time to make further and final decisions, but the consensus among owners and the league office is for the draft to go on as scheduled.
There are differing accounts of the way the vote went Tuesday — some sources saying it was unanimous and others say it was 6-1. Either way, the general managers strongly favor pushing it back.
“I think a lot of owners aren’t sold on keeping it on schedule,” one league source said. “Of course the power owners are calling the shots. Plus, add to the fact that April is going to be the toughest month with this virus. It’s really a poor look.”