Concern over the outbreak of COVID-19 has hit an all-time high as multiple sports leagues have postponed major events and some have even suspended their seasons altogether. The NFL is far removed from playing actual games, but they are still taking necessary precautions to ensure the safety of employees.
“The Raiders have discontinued business-related travel for scouts, coaches and football staff and have encouraged all employees to work from home,” Raiders announced on their Twitter page. “The organization will continue to collaborate with the NFL and health officials to monitor developments regarding COVID-19.”
As many major organizations have made the same call, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Raiders are also playing it safe.
How Will This Affect the Raiders’ Offseason?
Fortunately for the Raiders, much of the necessary work in the offseason has been done. They were able to go through the NFL Combine and attend a number of pro days. Plus, there are hours upon hours of tape of each player they could be interested in. If history tells us anything, Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock love tape.
The NFL recently revealed that they will no longer allow teams to meet with draft prospects in person, which is a bit of a blow. The Raiders have already met with a number of prospects, so that shouldn’t hurt some of the tops guys they were targeting. However, day three types of players could be negatively affected because they won’t get the same chance to impress teams that maybe weren’t sold on their ability.
Free agency shouldn’t be too affected by the lack of travel. The Raiders don’t need to be sold on any players they end up targeting because there’s plenty of game tape out there. That said, it could hurt their ability to recruit as they won’t be able to show off all of the cool things they’re doing in Las Vegas. That recruiting tool essentially goes out the window.
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Las Vegas Draft Could Be in Jeopardy
There’s still over a month before the NFL Draft in Las Vegas, but there remains many unknowns surrounding the sports world right now. The draft was supposed to be quite the spectacle this year and now it’s looking like if it does happen, fan involvement could be greatly reduced or taken away entirely.
Due to the fact that there’s still plenty of time to decide the next move, the NFL could wait and see how everything plays out. Raiders owner Mark Davis has stated that the safety of everybody involved takes precedent, so if things don’t get better at a rather quick rate, the NFL could pull the plug on the whole thing. What could end up happening is that the draft is held in a TV studio and players stay at home when they find out which team has selected them.