Of all the professional sports leagues impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL has been the one best positioned to keep operations going as planned up to this point.
Due to timing, the NFL has been able to take advantage of their calendar by continuing their offseason as planned, through the use of virtual technology. Free agency took place on time, as did last week’s NFL Draft.
The league has had the luxury of time on their hands to plan for their season and plan to play games on schedule when the time comes. However the actual scheduling of the games could be different than ever before.
The chances of packing NFL stadiums with upwards of 60,000 screaming fans this fall appears to be a pipe-dream at this point. Instead the league is going to be playing games without fans and will instead need to profit solely off their television contracts.
One way to make more money through television would be to schedule games for both Saturday and Sunday, leaving more primetime slots available to be filled on networks with NFL games.
The NFL will usually hold off on scheduling any Saturday games until the end of the season, when College Football is no longer being played.
But since there is a good chance that the NCAA simply postpones this season, that opens the door for the NFL to take advantage of the hole in Saturday programming.
While the difference in playing an NFL and a college game may not seem to be that stark, the NFL is better positioned to play a season than the NCAA. The reason being that their players are adults that are getting paid, rather then kids who could be put at risk.
Also the NCAA relies more heavily on their gate at the games than the NFL does, especially when you consider the operation costs for well over 100 teams that play in college compared to the 32 in the NFL.
At this point, everyone is just trying to figure out how to get sports to resume during these uncertain times. With that being said, the NFL is sure to get a ton of viewers if they can air games all weekend starting this fall, without college to compete with.
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Superstar RB Travis Etienne Announces Return to Clemson for Senior Season
Coming into this season, many thought it was a foregone conclusion that Clemson running back Travis Etienne was going to enter the NFL after he became eligible this year.
Etienne has been one of the best running backs in the nation over his three years at Clemson, making him a surefire top pick in the NFL Draft.
So when Etienne posted a statement to Twitter, many assumed it would be to announce the end of his Clemson career.
Instead Etienne has decided to stay at Clemson for his senior season and try to win another national championship with the Tigers.
Etienne, 20, came to Clemson in 2017 and rushed for 766 yards and 13 touchdowns. Then as a sophomore, Etienne had a breakout season that saw him rush for 1,658 yards and 24 touchdowns.
This season, Etienne added another dimension to his game, becoming a reliable pass-catcher out of the backfield for Trevor Lawrence. Etienne had 37 catches for 432 yards, while still rushing for 1,614 yards on the ground.
Many thought that Etienne would be considered the top running back prospect in the draft, as Pro Football Focus College had him ranked as the top back in the nation this year.
Now Etienne returns to Clemson, where he hopes to win his second championship in three years, but also risks a lot in that pursuit.
As high as his stock was, there really isn’t anything Etienne can do to raise his profile more heading into next year’s draft. He is also risking injury by playing another season in college before the guaranteed money in the NFL.
Hopefully Etienne has a healthy and productive year and can still hold that level of ranking when it is time to enter the 2021 NFL Draft next year.
LSU Tight End Thaddeus Moss Declares for the 2020 NFL Draft
Randy Moss’ son, Thaddeus, hit the grand stage this year, as the tight end was a prominent piece in LSU’s explosive aerial attack.
Now the 21-year-old is following his Hall of Fame father’s footsteps and has declared for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Moss really stood out as the lights shined brightest, turning in his two best games in the College Football Playoff.
In the College Football Playoff Semifinals against Oklahoma, Moss set a career-high with 99 receiving yards on four catches.
Then in the College Football National Championship against Clemson, Moss had the first multi-touchdown game of his career, finding the end zone for two critical touchdown catches.
Moss was really just establishing himself this season, as his collegiate career got off to a really slow start. Moss began at NC State in 2016, but did not get much playing time.
He ultimately decided to transfer to LSU and was forced to sit out the 2017 season due to the transfer rules. Then in 2018, Moss missed the entire season due to the foot injury, allowing him to use a medical redshirt.
Finally this year, Moss played in 13 of LSU’s 15 games and caught 47 passes for 570 yards. He has shown the potential to not only be a great pass-catcher, but also being be a three-down tight end that can block too.
ESPN’s senior draft analyst Mel Kiper currently has Moss ranked as the No. 10 tight end prospect in the draft, but who knows how high he could climb the draft board with a solid performance at the combine.
Moss has the chance to be a really good player in the NFL and considering who his father is, he is likely to be a very popular as well.
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