Restrictions on NFL team physicals have been lifted

Nashville is about to become Clown Town, USA. Dianna Russini of ESPN reported Saturday that while tryouts cannot be held in any form or fashion, the NFL has decided on a process for teams to give pending free agents physicals.

Like Dianna mentioned, this huge news for free agents like Jadeveon Clowney, but this really starts the countdown for the Tennessee Titans and their fans to seeing him in two-tone blue.

The breakdown

There has been a lot of speculation that while the Tennessee Titans have been in negotiations with Clowney, and may even have a deal on the table, that it is all down to the physical.

The NFL has had strict rules and regulations in place regarding players traveling to new teams for physicals since COVID began. Well now that has changed.

Teams can have players in to the offices of the NFL approved team physician. The physical must be made known to the NFL Player Personnel department.

Why is that important? When the NFL Player Personnel department is made aware, so are the other 31 teams. This means, there will be very little room for secrecy when a free agent takes a physical.

If the player and the team come to agreement in negotiations, the player can then sign a deal either via hardcopy or through email. This allows greater flexibility to the normal process of contract signings.

After that happens and the contract is executed, the player can join the team depending on if training camp has begun.

If camp has begun, the player can follow the COVID-19 testing protocols the NFL and NFLPA agreed to earlier in the week and be allowed to join the team.

If camp is not opened up, the player cannot join activities until camp is started and COVID-19 testing protocols have been completed.

What about tryouts?

You may be saying, “Zach, Jadeveon is coming off a season where he had a core muscle surgery. We need to try him out!”

Take this video from one of Jadeveon Clowney’s workouts on May 6th. His core muscles look fine enough that I’ll ask you this: “Do they need to try him out?”

Originally tweeted by Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) on May 6, 2020.

In my opinion, the Titans do not. Mike Vrabel, Shane Bowen and a few others have worked with Jadeveon Clowney when he was playing with the Houston Texans. This, to me, gives the Titans an advantage over most of the other teams vying for Clowney’s services. The familiarity means less waiting around for something like approval of a tryout by the NFL.

The Seattle Seahawks would be the other team with this advantage, but they currently have less cap space. They have been linked to Everson Griffen as well, who has also been in need of a physical.

In the end, this is a massive step for the Tennessee Titans to finally end #ClowneyWatch which, as of this writing, is on Day 132.

Questions? Comments? Jokes? Leave them below in the replies!

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