For nearly the entire offseason, Roger Goodell has expressed some serious optimism that his league will be able to play a full slate of games in 2020. However, not everyone feels the same away.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith was recently asked about the possibility that there will be an NFL season this year and he definitely didn't express the same confidence that Goodell has shown over the past few months.
During an interview with HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Smith was asked what his confidence level was -- on a scale of one to 10 (most confident) -- that a season would happen, and let's just say, he definitely didn't give a 10.
"Well, UVA law graded on a curve, so I'm going to go with probably a six, seven," Smith said.
One thing Smith did point out is that the NFL will be closely monitoring how things play out for both MLB and the NBA. If baseball and basketball go off without a hitch this summer, then Smith will likely feel a lot better about the possibility of the NFL season happening.
"Look, a lot depends on what happens with the other sports, and to say that we aren't looking at what's going to be happening in basketball and baseball -- and we're not looking at how they work through these things -- I'd be lying to you if we're not," Smith said. "So how about if I go with six, seven on a curve?"
Considering we're in the middle of a pandemic, a confidence score of "six or seven" could be construed as somewhat high, but Smith definitely isn't as optimistic as other people around the NFL. For instance, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, and not only did he say he thought there would be football, but he sounded pretty confident that there would also be fans in the stadium.
"I think there definitely will be a football season this year,'' Ross said. "The real question is, will there be fans in the stadium? Right now, today, we're planning to have fans in the stadium, but I think the NFL is looking at, and is very flexible, so that we will be able to start on time and bring that entertainment that is so needed for all of us in this country."
Ross is definitely right about one thing, the NFL has made it clear that its going to be as flexible as possible to make sure that games get played this year. The commissioner has emphasized the fact that NFL will be ready to make any adjustments deemed necessary.
"In preparing to play the season as scheduled, we will continue to make our decisions based on the latest medical and public health advice, in compliance with government regulations, and with appropriate safety protocols to protect the health of our fans, players, club and league personnel, and our communities," Goodell said in a statement following the release of the NFL schedule. "We will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary, as we have during this offseason in safely and efficiently conducting key activities such as free agency, the virtual draft off-season program, and the 2020 NFL Draft."
The NFL has built multiple contingency plans into the 2020 schedule that could be used if any week on the schedule has to be canceled or postponed, and you can read.