Power Line

Thank you, NFL, for proceeding with free agency

Last weekend, I wrote about whether the NFL should proceed with free agency. I thought it should.

Some football writers thought it shouldn’t. Awarding big contracts to players during a time like this would be a “bad look,” they argued.

The NFL went ahead with free agency. Football fans had something fun to read and think about during these somber days.

Teams communicated remotely with players and their agents. Physical exams were deferred, meaning that the contracts reached are contingent on players passing their physicals later on. It’s possible that some players with a bad history of injuries have been frozen out due to the inability to test them, but there were plenty of signings and other transactions.

Some of them were big. Tom Brady left the New England Patriots. He signed with Tampa Bay. Phillip Rivers left the Los Angeles Chargers for the Indianapolis Colts. Amari Cooper turned down a big offer from the Washington Redskins and signed a big contract to remain with the Dallas Cowboys. Houston traded DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona in what is universally thought to be a steal for the Cardinals.

Here’s what didn’t happen, as far as we know or have reason to believe. No one caught the Wuhan coronavirus as a result of NFL free agency.

Is it a “bad look” that a bunch of football players got paid what the market said they are worth? I don’t think so. If you have a problem with what the NFL did, there’s a good chance you are anti-football, anti-free enterprise, or incorrigibly churlish.

To me, shutting down any activity that doesn’t carry an appreciable risk to public health gives a bad look. Maintaining normal activities in times of crisis, to the extent it can done without jeopardizing public health, is a good look.

That’s always been the American way. I hope it still is.

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