The NFL and NFL Players Association are on the verge of pushing back the draft to May and moving up the start of the league year to before the Indianapolis scouting combine, according to league and union sources.
The change of the draft to May would be effective in 2014, according to a source.
As for the draft, the NFLPA is close to signing off on allowing the NFL to move the draft to May from April for at least the next three years, according to sources. Under the current collective bargaining agreement, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can set the date of the draft without the NFLPA's approval, although he would prefer to have the union's blessing to maintain league harmony.
The start of the new league year is now expected to be moved to before the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis rather than after it, per league sources. The NFLPA wanted to give free agents a chance to find new teams sooner.
The new league year would start before the combine in 2015 and 2016, a source said.
The NFL originally proposed a league year that would have started later in the calendar year and the NFLPA rejected that idea, believing it to be unfair to its players.
This year's scouting combine took place from Feb. 20-26. The 2013 league year began on March 12.