With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing teams to adjust their offseason activities and draft preparation, the NFL on Thursday provided guidelines for all 32 teams on draft-day operations based on communications between the league’s management council, and club counsel and conversations with league and team IT departments.
The league issued a memo, obtained by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, informing all clubs the two scenarios currently being considered by the NFL as it pertains to this month’s draft. The first option is for clubs to operate out of their facilities, “subject to mandatory health and safety guidelines issued by Dr. (Allen) Sills, which will include limitations on the number of permitted club personnel at the facility and rigorous cleaning requirements.” The second option is for teams to operate completely remotely, in “personal residences, with a clear prohibition on any number of club personnel gathering in one residence.”
“The NFL will decide on (1) or (2) above based on several factors, most notably guidance from Dr. Sills, the CDC and the impact of any shelter in place or similar executive orders that are imposed in club jurisdictions,” the league explained in the memo.
The NFL added in the memo that it will not “mandate that club personnel move their Draft Day operations to an alternate off-site location. … However, a club may still decide to operate its draft from an off-site location, rather than from its facility, provided that such activity is permissible by law and in compliance with the mandatory guidelines issued by Dr. Sills.”
If the league decides the second option — requiring all club personnel to conduct draft operations from personal residences in isolation — “then no club will be permitted to operate from any club facility or off-site location.”
The Saints announced Wednesday they planned to set up operations in a local brewery owned by the Benson family, with all staff members spread out in one large room and only being permitted to enter after having their temperature taken.