NFL will make allowances for legitimate technical collapses

It’s one thing for the league to take the position that there generally will be no reason to delay the deadline for getting picks made when the first-ever (and hopefully first-only) home-office draft happens in 15 days. It’s quite another for the league to take the position that the clock will continue to run if a legitimate technical collapse occurs.

Per a league source, the NFL will be prepared to show flexibility in the event that a genuine technical breakdown happens. In late April, for example, thunderstorms tend to happen on a fairly regular basis. Chances are that, somewhere in the U.S., a storm will be firing at some point during the first round of the draft. If a G.M. or head coach or owner temporarily lose all connections due to a lightning strike, the NFL won’t tell them, “Sh-t happens.”

Whatever form it takes, it must be a real breakdown, not an inconvenience or an annoyance or an actual or feigned inability to figure out how to use the available technology. The league is working with all relevant sponsors (like Verizon, Amazon, and Bose) to ensure that, despite everyone taking the office to the home, a legitimate workplace will emerge.

The NFL chose to proceed with a draft in these unusual times. The NFL has a huge responsibility to ensure that it works. If real glitches happen, the NFL won’t simply shout, “Next!” The NFL will find a way to help a team that finds itself in the wrong technological place at the wrong technological time.