NFL free agency: How coronavirus pandemic may slow signings, contracts

Marcus White
NBC Sports BayArea

The coronavirus pandemic didn't slow the initial stages of the NFL's free-agent frenzy. It could slow down what comes next.

The league year began Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. PT, and the official announcements of transactions didn't follow suit. The Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals, for instance, referred to reports they had reached agreements with free agents on Twitter rather than announcing those signings.

That's because free agents aren't allowed to visit teams or any players not requiring medically supervised rehabilitation and treatment into their facilities in light of the pandemic. That means free agents or players acquired in trades can't take physicals required to make the moves official, and NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday night that the NFL told teams they can't announce deals pending a physical.

The 49ers and Raiders have been plenty busy in free agency so far. San Francisco traded team MVP DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts, while Las Vegas has completely revamped its defense heading into its first season at Allegiant Stadium.

[RELATED: Follow the latest in our NFL free agency live tracker]

Although the Buckner trade now is official, it could be a while before the Raiders recognize their rash of moves on social media, let alone with the official photo opportunity.

In other words, sit tight if you're waiting to buy an Eli Apple Raiders jersey.

NFL free agency: How coronavirus pandemic may slow signings, contracts originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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