NFL free agency will start on time amid COVID-19 pandemic

JJ Stankevitz
NBC Sports Chicago

The NFL will not delay the start of its new league year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning free agency will proceed as planned this week. 

The NFL's negotiating window - otherwise known as the "legal tampering" period - is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. CT on Monday, and the new league year will commence at 3 p.m. CT Wednesday. 

There had been speculation the NFL would delay the start of its league year and free agent period over concerns of the spread of COVID-19. Some teams, including the Bears, temporarily closed their facilities last week and suspended all business travel. 

A few big moves did trickle out on Sunday following the NFLPA's ratification of the new CBA. The Tennessee Titans signed quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a four-year, $118 million deal; Colts left tackle Anthony Castanzo re-upped in Indianapolis for two years and $33 million; and the Baltimore Ravens shipped a 2020 fifth-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for defensive end Calais Campbell (that trade won't be official until the start of the new league year). 

For the Bears, this means they'll proceed in free agency as usual, and may need to make some decisions quickly (like whether or not to retain Leonard Floyd) to free up cap space for this week's free agency frenzy. 

NFL free agency will start on time amid COVID-19 pandemic originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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