The NFL is set to move forward with its offseason on Monday, as impending free agents can officially begin speaking with other teams starting at 12 p.m.
The “legal tampering period” will run from noon today until Wednesday at 4 p.m. when the 2020 league year officially begins and players can formally begin signing contracts.
Given the current international effort to contain the spread of coronavirus, there was obvious pushback against the league going through a major component of its offseason schedule without interruption. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter explained, many people aren’t happy about it.
“I will say this, the amount of furor and anger that this has created around the league I think is something that I’ve never before seen,” said Schefter on SportsCenter. “There are head coaches, general managers, agents, players, reaching out who are incensed that the league year is beginning.”
Schefter noted that the free agent recruitment process requires players to travel with their agents, and taking physicals before signing contracts. All of that will demand the usage of resources which are currently critical to fighting coronavirus.
Austin Hooper talked about possibly playing with Tom Brady: Falcons tight end Austin Hooper is going to be one of the more coveted tight ends in free agency during the offseason. The 25-year-old is a two-time Pro Bowler, and has posted back-to-back seasons with at least 70 receptions.
The Patriots, meanwhile, are still trying to figure out the tight end position following Rob Gronkowski’s decision to retire a year ago. New England figures to be a candidate to pursue Hooper in free agency.
The other clear and obvious factor for Hooper is where Tom Brady signs. If the 42-year-old Brady stays with the Patriots, Hooper would said he would naturally be interested.
“Of course, everyone would love to play with Tom Brady,” Hooper recently told ESPN’s Vaughn McClue. “He’s one of the greatest of our generation.”
Exactly where Brady will end up remains a mystery, though there have already been several reports about teams taking themselves out of the running.
Trivia: What Bruins player, who ranks eighth in goals and ninth in points in team history, was born in Birmingham, England?
(Answer at the bottom).
Hint: He arrived in Boston after a blockbuster trade with the Chicago Blackhawks.
More from Boston.com:
- Tom Brady live blog: Tracking his free agency decision
- CDC’s latest guidance could mean no sports for much longer
- Devin McCourty announces he’s coming back to the Patriots
- Brooks Koepka says he won’t be joining Premier Golf League
- Titans agree to four-year extension with quarterback Ryan Tannehill
- Column: NFL wins again with deal players didn’t have to make
- March Sadness: No brackets and no knowing what might’ve been
- Networks get through first weekend with taped programming
- Yankees minor leaguer has virus, spring camps begin to empty
- What runners are saying about the Boston Marathon’s new September date
- NFL players approve labor deal, including 17-game season
- What Boston sports radio is saying about Tom Brady’s free agency decision
An important PSA from Tacko Fall:
Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is going to take a team effort, please take all precautions. pic.twitter.com/RWZt12VZeL
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 15, 2020
Zdeno Chara had a message for fans:
Big Zee misses you all and wanted to check in with a message for #NHLBruins fans everywhere.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 15, 2020
The start of something great? Giannis Antetokounmpo is using the time afforded by NBA’s season suspension to learn how to play guitar.
— Mariah Danae (@mariahdanae15) March 15, 2020
On this day: In 1969, the Bruins scored eight goals in a single period to tie an NHL record. The game ended in an 11-3 win over the Maple Leafs.
Daily highlight: In what might be the last major sports event in North America for the foreseeable future, Mexican side Cruz Azul defeated Club América in Liga MX on Sunday, 1-0. In the final seconds, an América penalty kick was saved by Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jesús Corona.
— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) March 16, 2020
Trivia answer: Ken Hodge.