Sean Payton, the New Orleans Saints head coach, expects free agency to be delayed due to the widely-spreading COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.
The New Orleans Saints have been doing most of their business as normal despite the bulk of the major sports leagues having been suspended since the middle of last week. Following the league’s guidelines, the Saints are looking to kick the 2020 free agency period off as normal.
Free agency is the start of the new NFL season, and that is set for March 18, this coming Wednesday. But, it seems likely that the league may eventually postpone it as much of the country is in disarray with the new pandemic still wreaking havoc in America.
The Saints should have a relatively active period as they’ll look to load their roster with the talent necessary to take Drew Brees for one last Super Bowl ride. But, if you ask Sean Payton, he thinks the league will delay the start of the new season.
"“Most immediately, the start of our league year, which is due to be this Wednesday, I think, free agency begins, that’s gonna be, I think, pushed back,” Sean Payton noted via Amie Just of the New Orleans Times-Picayune."
This would not be a shocker to anyone.
The league may continue as usual as the free agency period shouldn’t rely on any face-to-face exposures, but to make things easier, the league may opt for safety first and follow the rest of the sports world.
Payton, the long time coach of the Saints, has been leading the team since the 2006 season. He has a 131-77 record as the Saints head coach and has around a 63% win percentage. That said, Payton has a good grip on what the league is likely to do with his decade-plus of experience.
The draft is also a huge issue as it is around five weeks away. It is in Las Vegas, a city that’s one of the world’s most traveled destinations. Will they have that and will the season’s commencement be delayed are both questions of utmost importance for teams.