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NFL announces new rules for free agency, delay to offseason program in memo regarding COVID-19 precautions


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In a memo to NFL organizations, the NFL on Monday released a new set of rules regarding free agency and the offseason program in order to protect teams and their players during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Though free agency will begin Wednesday, March 18 at 2 p.m. MT, NFL teams may not bring any of their new free agents to their facility or travel to meet with a free-agent player.

These restrictions apply to a team's own free agents, as well as any new signees.

The policy will remain in effect until further notice, according to the memo.

As teams look to finalize deals, they may request that a player undergo medical exams in the player's home city. This stipulation should allow teams to finalize contracts remotely, as passing a physical is nearly always a prerequisite to finishing a deal.

The memo also outlines a change in scheduling for the offseason program, which will be delayed indefinitely.

NFL teams with new head coaches were scheduled to begin their offseason workouts as early as April 6, and the Broncos were among the teams that could begin their program on April 20.

Until further notice, though, these workouts will be delayed.

For the next two weeks, policies will be even more stringent. The NFL and NFLPA agreed to prohibit players from entering team facilities from March 17 until March 31.

Players under contract who are receiving medical treatment may continue to undergo said treatment.

The Broncos previously closed UCHealth Training Center and Empower Field at Mile High for at least the next two weeks. Only a small number of employees with critical operational roles are allowed to access the buildings.

The NFL's decisions regarding free agency and the offseason program are just the latest measures to take effect. Earlier Monday, the NFL announced it was cancelling all public events during the 2020 NFL Draft.

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