The NFL will keep the start of the new league year in place, according to a memo sent out to teams on Sunday, first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
That means that teams have until noon on Monday to make decisions about franchise tags on players with expiring 2019 contact.
Noon on Monday will also signify the beginning of the contact period for free agency in advance fo the start of the new league year on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
There had been conflicting reports that the league may consider pushing back the start of free agency, due to bot the late date of the NFL collective bargaining agreement being accepted by NFL Players Association on Sunday and also the league’s continued travel restrictions thanks to the public health threat of the novel coronavirus-caused COVID-19.
But the NFL has decided that free agency discussions don’t need to be done in person, and teams have already had the franchise tag deadline pushed back once to accommodate the CBA talks.
For the Steelers, that means a little under 18 hours to decide the fate of outside linebacker Bud Dupree, who could be in for a franchise tag, and also that amount of time to prioritize which potential free agents they’d like to speak with when the contact period opens.
Although, it might not be a very eventful free agency for the cap-strapped Steelers, which according to spotrac.com, are nearly $3 million over the cap.