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29 of 32 2020 Round 1 NFL Draft picks still unsigned, pandemic to blame

2020 NFL Draft, Round 1

The league has had to take unprecedented action in order to prepare for the 2020 NFL season amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Unfortunately, it seems this has had a significant impact on teams’ ability to sign their picks from the 2020 NFL Draft.

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, there are 186 draft picks who still have yet to sign their rookie contracts, including 29 first-rounders:

“A month before rookies are scheduled to report to camp, 186 draft picks remain unsigned, including 29 of 32 first-rounders, per NFLPA memo. Some clubs continuing to tell agents they’re waiting to conduct physicals at club facilities, which remains barred because of COVID-19.”

The NFL continues to navigate through uncharted waters this offseason due to the ongoing pandemic. It is clear that all the restrictions involved have made it much more difficult for both sides to negotiate since they have largely been limited to virtual meetings.

The only teams that have not had any problems getting all their players signed are the Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots. This should certainly help pay huge dividends once training camp arrives next month and they can finally get down to business on the field without any contract concerns.

Regardless, the fact that it has been a month since these unsigned players were drafted just goes to show how much of an impact the pandemic has had on day-to-day operations. Although NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been adamant about maintaining the current timeline of the 2020 campaign, it is difficult to predict the other setbacks that could come as a result.