The NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed on a tentative calendar for the 2021 year.
As it stands, the 2020 season still appears scheduled to finish on time, with Super Bowl LV set to be held on February 7, 2021 despite a campaign that has seen several games moved because of positive coronavirus cases.
The NFL approved a potential extra week of the regular season as a contingency for the 2020 calendar being severely affected by further COVID-19 outbreaks.
In addition, the league has a fall-back plan of expanding the playoffs from 14 to 16 teams should meaningful games be cancelled because of the pandemic.
With the cancellation of this season’s Pro Bowl freeing up an extra week, neither scenario should result in the Super Bowl being moved.
It is therefore anticipated that the 2021 league year, and with it the NFL free agency period, will start on March 17.
Corrected version of the tentative 2021 league calendar sent by the NFLPA shows the tag window would close March 9. Again, all subject to change. pic.twitter.com/iWmBuf85qL
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 18, 2020
The 2021 NFL Draft is scheduled to take place from April 29 to May 1 in Cleveland, Ohio, though it is unclear whether fans will be permitted at the event as the United States continues to battle the pandemic.
This year’s draft, previously expected to be staged in Las Vegas, was held virtually and was widely viewed as a success. Las Vegas will play host to the 2022 draft.
Through 10 weeks of the season, the New York Jets are in position to pick first overall in the draft. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the overwhelming favourite to be the first player selected.