The NFL is proposing making adjustments to its off-season calendar, according to ESPN insider Adam Schefter. This would have major repercussions to the timing of the scouting combine and the NFL draft, and could be a sign that the regular season is getting longer.
Under the proposed shift, the scouting combine would move back to early March from late February. As a result, free agency wouldn't start until April, with the draft moving to early May. It's approximately a two-week shift to each major event, which would accommodate an extension to the regular season to 18 games -- a move the league is often rumored to be considering.
Plans for an extension to the season were rejected under the last CBA, but have often been a point of contention between the NFL and NFLPA, especially in light of the league's move toward greater player safety. However, getting the ancillary events rescheduled would be the first step in revisiting the idea.
Teams would still have the same amount of time to prepare for each event, but moving the combine would give scouting departments more time to prepare. It also remains to be seen how college teams would react to the changes. An already compact pro day schedule exacerbated by moves by the NFL would push into college football's pre-season scheduling.
Like most moves in the NFL, these things take time. However, the changes to the combine, free agency, and the draft could be the first dominoes to fall in a larger overall scheme to retool how the league's seasons work.
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