2020 NFL Draft to go on as scheduled
On Thursday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all 32 NFL teams that said the 2020 NFL Draft would go on as scheduled from April 23-25.
During a meeting with the Commissioner's Executive Committee, Goodell said the decision was "unanimous and unequivocal" that the 2020 draft would more forward as originally slated.
"Apart from the CEC, I have personally discussed this matter with many other owners, club executives and coaches, and there is widespread support for the CEC's conclusion," Goodell said in the memo. "Everyone recognizes that public health conditions are highly uncertain and there is no assurance that we can select a different date and be confident that conditions will be significantly more favorable than they are today. I also believe that the draft can serve a very positive purpose for our clubs, our fans, and the country at large, and many of you have agreed.
"Because of the unique circumstances in our country today, the 2020 Draft will obviously need to be conducted in a different way. Already, we have cancelled all public events, we will not be bringing prospects and their families to the Draft, and the draft itself will be conducted and televised in a way that reflects current conditions.
"Our staff is certainly mindful of the operational issues this presents, and our top priority is putting in place procedures that allow all clubs to operate on a level playing field so that the draft is conducted in a way that is competitively fair to all clubs. All clubs should now be doing the necessary planning to conduct draft operations in a location outside of your facility, with a limited number of people present, and with sufficient technology resources to allow you to communicate internally, with other clubs, and with draft headquarters."
Reports: Giants agree to terms with DL Austin Johnson
The Giants and defensive lineman Austin Johnson have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, according to a report by Dan Duggan of The Athletic.
The agreement is contingent on Johnson passing his physical, which will take place on a date yet to be determined.
Johnson, 6-4 and 314 pounds, played his first four NFL seasons for the Tennessee Titans, who selected him in the second round of the 2016 draft (43rd overall) from Penn State. He has played in 58 regular-season games with 13 starts and in five postseason games with one start. Johnson did not mis a game in any of the previous three seasons.
His career regular-season statistics include 82 tackles (45 solo), 2.5 sacks and five passes defensed. He has five tackles (three solo) and one passed defensed in the playoffs.
Johnson is the ninth free agent that played for another team in 2019 that has reportedly agreed to terms with the Giants. The others are cornerback James Bradberry (Carolina), linebacker Blake Martinez and Kyler Fackrell (both Green Bay), tight end Levine Toilolo (San Francisco), tackle Cam Fleming (Dallas), safety/special teams standout Nate Ebner (New England), quarterback Colt McCoy (Washington) and running back Dion Lewis (Tennessee).
View photos of defensive lineman Austin Johnson.
NFL family makes initial donations of more than $35 million to provide relief for those impacted by COVID-19
The National Football League announced today that in collaboration with the National Football League Players Association, clubs, owners and players, more than $35 million has been donated to date, including $3.4M from the NFL Foundation as part of the COVID-19 relief efforts.
The 10 organizations receiving donations are: American Red Cross, Bob Woodruff Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, CDC Foundation, GENYOUth Foundation, Meals on Wheels America, Salvation Army, Team Rubicon, United Way and Wounded Warrior Project (organization descriptions below). For more information and to donate visit nfl.com/COVID19Relief.
"We have all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, we need to unify to stay home and stay strong," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "The NFL will continue to find ways to give our support so we can get through this time of uncertainty together."
In addition to these initial donations, the NFL family has come together to #StayHomeStayStrong to help limit the spread of COVID-19 across the country. As part of this effort, over 50 NFL players, coaches, and Legends have united to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to share with fans about the strength they are finding in staying at home. The league is also inviting the country to #NFLPLAY60 at home during this time to get their 60 minutes of exercise each day alongside the NFL.
Last week, the NFL launched a series of free digital learning and wellness resources for students, parents and teachers by teaming up with charitable partners such as the American Heart Association and United Way. These resources can be shared broadly and are currently housed on http://www.nfl.com/play60.
Since late January, NFL Auction has been hosting a coronavirus auction to benefit the CDC Foundation and World Health Organization, first for China-specific efforts and now U.S.-based ones. Fans can bid on autographed and game-used memorabilia and special experiences.
As part of the NFL Draft, taking place April 23-25, the NFL is working on a broad plan to incorporate philanthropy and fundraising to provide additional help for those significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.
During this global public health emergency, the NFL continues to closely coordinate with all 32 teams, public health authorities, as well as community and philanthropic partners on additional opportunities to offer support to those who most need it during this unprecedented time.