For the first time ever, thanks to COVID-19, the NFL Draft will be conducted remotely and entirely online. This naturally presents potential problems that haven’t been encountered before in a centrally located event, and the NFL is attempting to make allowances for issues that could crop up. One such possible pitfall—what if teams haven’t quite completed a trade before the time expires on a given pick? Former general manager Mike Tannenbaum reports that the league won’t hold it against the team that’s on the clock, as the clock will stop to allow trades to be completed.
The @nfl has informed all teams that for the first time in draft history, they will “stop the clock” if teams exceed the time allotment to allow for trades that are in the process of being completed. The @nfl is smartly preparing for potential tech challenges.— Mike Tannenbaum (@RealTannenbaum) April 18, 2020
Whereas in years past the failure to consummate a trade before the clock ran out meant the next team could jump in and ahead of the team that had allowed the clock to expire (remember the fiasco with the Vikings several years back?), that won’t happen this year.
There’s a joke to be made about this rule adjustment permitting Bill O’Brien, once the Texans go on the clock for Pick #40, getting to finish trading that selection and J.J. Watt to the Packers for a conditional fifth rounder in 2025 without fear of time running out, but I’m not going to do it. I’m too classy.