The NFL’s first attempt at a bubble during the COVID-19 pandemic is already over. Amidst threats of boycotts from players by means of their agents, the NFL sent out a new memo on Tuesday night letting everyone know that the upcoming NFL combine next week has been “unbubbled”. The NFL’s bubble surrounding the Combine lasted about two days.
Rumors had been swirling about the league trying to make some sort of change to the Combine in regards to who was allowed and access to the athletes. On February 19th, the first memo was sent out laying down the legislation which can be found here. Over the weekend, a number of agents and athletes banned together and decided that on Monday (today) they would announce that they were boycotting the NFL Combine.
The boycott could be in a number of ways from not attending at all, to refusing to compete in the traditional Combine events, instead waiting to just do them at the athlete’s individual pro days. This threat was enough to cause the NFL to change its stance already, per Adam Schefter.
A mere 13 days before the start of the Combine, the NFL tried to make it so that athletes would only be allowed one approved medical person in the bubble. This set off agents of the players who are hoping to help their clients network through the draft process and guide them through the biggest moment of their playing careers to this point.
With the latest memo sent out by the NFL, the players will now be allowed to leave the secure areas at their “own risk”. This would allow players to participate in the regular drills and meetings that we are accustomed to seeing from the Combine. In short, NFL hit Ctrl+Z and erased the memo from just three days ago.