Retired NFL LB Lorenzo Alexander: Delaying free agency is ‘right thing to do’

As the entire sporting landscape has just about postponed or cancelled all events due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, one former NFL player is asking for one more thing to be pushed back.

Former Buffalo Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, who announced his retirement in January but remains on the NFL Players Association’s executive committee, said he thinks the start of free agency should be delayed.

"I think push it back, because obviously there's some things that are bigger than football," Alexander said Sunday on NFL Network. "And obviously that's the safety of everybody and their well-being. Even though, being in the prime shape of my life, I don't want to expose, myself, my family, my parents or anybody that I know that has pre-existing conditions around me. I think if you set it back for everybody it really doesn't have an impact on somebody having a competitive advantage, in that sense."

Former Buffalo Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander and a current member of the NFL Players Association’s executive committee said he thinks the start of free agency should be delayed. (Photo: Sam Navarro, USA TODAY Sports)

NFL free agency is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 18, which had been the date set for the start of the new league year.

For free agency to be pushed back, however, both the NFL and the players association would need to agree to the decision, since it is a collectively bargained issue. The NFLPA announced Sunday morning that a brand new collective bargaining agreement had been ratified with a 51.5 % approval rate (1,019 to 959).

With the new deal set in place that runs through the 2030 season, it paves the way for the league and union representatives to discuss potentially delaying the start of free agency.

Sports as a whole has virtually shut down for the time being as the globe tries to halt the rapid spread of the virus, known officially as COVID-19, which now has more than 3,200 confirmed cases in the United States, with 62 deaths.

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