May is arguably the deadest, most boring month of the NFL offseason. But that could change in the future. And I mean change in a big way. If a new proposal by the league goes through, the biggest of all offseason events – the draft – would be moved from April to May. This would be just part of a whole offseason reshuffling designed to make the NFL even more dominant during the months where no actual football is being played.
The reshuffling would look like this. For 2014 only, the draft would be moved to May 15 with all other significant offseason events – the combine and the start of the league year being the two biggest – remaining where they are. But in 2015 the whole schedule would be reworked. The league year would begin in early March before the combine which would be moved from early February to mid-March. So beginning in 2015, you would have free agency frenzy before the combine. And then the draft which would move from May 15 to a slightly earlier date in May.
The point of all this? That’s plainly obvious. The NFL wants to stretch out their offseason calendar so they can dominate the sports news landscape even more thoroughly. Why surrender May to the NBA and NHL playoffs when you can hold the draft in that month? This new calendar allows the league to basically own the months of February through May. February becomes free agency speculation month. Then actual free agency frenzy in early March. Then the combine which ramps up draft speculation. That whole process – and all those millions of stupid mocks – carries through April, finally culminating in the May draft.
The league and its TV partners are big winners if this deal goes through. The losers? Other sports leagues, especially the NBA and NHL. My advice to those leagues? Shorten your regular seasons and have your playoffs over by May. Your cute little postseason tournaments have no chance against the spectacle that is the draft. We now live in a world where guys you never heard of putting on caps and shaking Roger Goodell’s hand is a bigger deal than the NBA playoffs. This can’t be good. Unless you’re an NFL owner or an ESPN talking head.