The NFL conducted its annual league meeting near the end of March, but there’s still more work to be done. The league’s owners will again convene at the end of May at what is referred to as the “spring meeting.” Let’s run through everything you need to know about a critical few days on the NFL’s offseason calendar.
When Is the NFL Owners’ Spring League Meeting?
- Dates: May 22-24
- City: Minneapolis, Minn.
What’s on the Agenda at the NFL Spring League Meeting?
Rule and policy changes are usually at the forefront of league meetings. The NFL already passed several alterations at their annual meeting, but more changes could be coming. A potential sale of a legendary franchise, however, is also on the table at the spring meeting.
Where Does the Sale of the Washington Commanders Stand?
Although the Washington Commanders are set to change hands, don’t expect a vote on Daniel Snyder’s sale to Josh Harris at the spring meeting.
Harris, who also owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, entered into a purchase and sale agreement in mid-May. However, the deal — which includes a reported purchase price of approximately $6 billion — still needs to be approved by at least three-fourths of the NFL’s 32 owners.
Owners will be updated on the progress of the Commanders’ sale at the spring meetings. But Jeff Miller, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications, revealed that the league will not vote on the potential sale at the next week’s session.
Roger Goodell’s Extension Could Be Finalized
Roger Goodell isn’t going anywhere. ESPN reported NFL owners would likely finalize a multi-year extension for the commissioner at the annual league meeting earlier this year, but no announcement was made. Owners could theoretically finalize Goodell’s new contract at the spring meeting.
Per ESPN, Goodell has discussed a three-year deal, but no timeframe has been officially set in stone. This may be the final extension for the 64-year-old Goodell, who could consider retirement at the conclusion of his next term.
Goodell has been the NFL commissioner since taking over for Paul Tagliabue in 2006. According to the New York Times, Goodell earned $63.9 million for both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years, with roughly 90 percent of that total coming via bonuses.
More Rule Changes Could Be Explored
The NFL passed several rule changes at the annual league meeting in March, including allowing players to wear the number “0.” However, the league also tabled several proposals which could be re-addressed at the May meeting.
One such proposal, submitted by the Lions, would reintroduce the NFL’s third quarterback rule. Under this rule, teams could designate one player on their inactive list or practice squad as an emergency QB if their first two signal-callers get injured.
“We talked through it. I think there is a lot of support for it,” Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay said in March. “There’s just a lot of logistics that go into it. Then, there’s the question of: Should that third quarterback rule apply to the practice squad player or only a player on the 53? There’s definitely a difference of opinion when it comes to that.
“I think our idea was to work on that, and it could be something that shows up this year. We’ll talk about it again in May. But I do believe there was a lot of support for it.”
The NFL might consider further rule changes, including an Eagles’ proposal to allow teams to keep possession by converting a fourth-and-20 after scoring, and a Competition Committee proposal to convert fair catches on kickoffs inside the 25-yard line into touchbacks.
Decision on Flexing Thursday Night Games
The NFL already voted to allow late-season Monday Night Football games to be flexed, and they could take the same approach to Thursday night.
The league failed to pass a proposal in March that would have enabled TNF flexing for Weeks 14-17, but the issue is expected to pop back up in May. The measure needed 24 votes to pass but received only 22 during the first vote.
Flexing games allows networks to put more competitive teams in prime time late in the season, but Giants owner John Mara called the potential policy “abusive” toward fans who might already have tickets in hand.