With sporting events across the country being canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL could push back the start of free agency, Pro Football Talk reported Thursday.
Early Thursday, ESPN reported the NFL had “no plans to move the start of the league year,” which is officially scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 18.
However, PFT reported Thursday evening that the league is “contemplating the possibility of announcing on Sunday” that the start of free agency will be delayed.
Per the report, the NFL doesn’t want to make such an announcement until after player voting on the new collective bargaining agreement closes Saturday. Players have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Saturday to vote on a new 10-year CBA that would go into effect with the new league year if approved.
—The Washington Redskins were the first of several NFL teams to announce that they have suspended team travel due to health concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
Soon afterward, the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions followed suit, sending personnel staff and coaches home.
—The Green Bay Packers released tight end Jimmy Graham.
The 33-year-old veteran saw his production dip in recent seasons despite being ranked as the highest-paid tight end in the NFL with an average salary of $10 million. Graham had signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the team in March 2018.
—Free agent tight end Jordan Reed, released last month by the Redskins, paid a visit to the Seattle Seahawks, multiple media outlets reported. He is immediately eligible to sign with any team.
Reed, 29, didn’t play at all in the 2019 regular season after sustaining a concussion during a preseason game on Aug. 22. He was on the receiving end of a helmet-to-helmet hit by Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal.
—The Chicago Bears agreed with linebacker Danny Trevathan on a new three-year contract, NFL Network reported, which will keep the veteran from hitting free agency. The monetary value of the deal had yet to be reported.
Trevathan, 29, finished 2019 with 70 tackles (two for loss), a sack and four QB hits in nine games last year.
—Buffalo Bills guard Quinton Spain will not hit free agency after agreeing to re-sign with the team.
Spain, 28, joined the Bills last spring on a one-year, $2.05 million contract. He started all 16 games — primarily at left guard — for the first time in his career in 2019.
—The Tennessee Titans released linebacker Cameron Wake and running back Dion Lewis.
Wake, 38, appeared in nine games and registered four tackles and 2.5 sacks during his first season with the Titans in 2019. Lewis, 29, played a reduced role in 2019 as starter Derrick Henry broke out with a league-leading 1,540 rushing yards.
—Veteran center Daniel Kilgore will hit free agency after the Miami Dolphins decided not to pick up his option for the 2020 season, multiple outlets reported.
Kilgore, 32, would have made $3.5 million if the option had been picked up. A nine-year NFL veteran, he started 13 games for the Dolphins last season.
—The Giants signed fullback Elijhaa Penny to new two-year contract, keeping him from hitting free agency, according to multiple media reports. Penny, 26, had 15 carries for 39 yards last season.
—Linebacker Kyle Emanuel, whose most recent NFL action came in 2018 with the Los Angeles Chargers, hopes to resume his career, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. Emanuel, 28, recorded two interceptions, four sacks and one forced fumble in 63 career NFL games (33 starts).
—Free agent linebacker Christian Kirksey visited the Green Bay Packers, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported. Kirksey, 27, spent the past six seasons with the Cleveland Browns, who released him on Tuesday after he was limited to a total of nine games from 2018-19 due to injuries.
—Former NFL running back Michael Pittman said on his Instagram account that a family member is in a coma after contracting the coronavirus.
Pittman, 44, played 11 NFL seasons with the Arizona Cardinals (1998-2001), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2002-07) and Denver Broncos (2008).
—Del Shofner, one of the NFL’s best receivers in the late 1950s and early ‘60s for the Giants and the Rams, died Wednesday at age 85. Shofner died of natural causes in Los Angeles his daughter announced, the New York Times reported.
Per NFL.com, Shofner became the first player in NFL history with multiple 1,000-yard receiving seasons. He made five Pro Bowls, was named first-team All-Pro five times and ultimately landed on the Pro Football Hall of Fame All-1960s Team.
—Field Level Media