2020 NFL season
|Duration||September 10, 2020– January 3, 2021|
|Start date||January 9, 2021|
|Super Bowl LV|
|Date||February 7, 2021|
|Site||Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida|
|Date||January 31, 2021|
|Site||Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, Nevada|
The 2020 NFL season will be the 101st season of the National Football League (NFL). Pending developments in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the season is scheduled to begin with the NFL Kickoff Game on September 10, with the defending Super Bowl LIV champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans in a rematch of the previous season’s AFC Divisional Round. The season will conclude with Super Bowl LV, the league's championship game on February 7, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The league has built the season schedule such that a shortened season would be possible, should they subsequently decide that the ongoing pandemic warrants a delayed start.
The Oakland Raiders became the Las Vegas Raiders following their relocation to the Las Vegas metropolitan area, becoming the first NFL team based in the state of Nevada. The Washington Redskins, following decades long controversy regarding their name and logo and increasing corporate pressure due in part to the George Floyd protests, retired both in the offseason and took on the temporary branding of Washington Football Team pending a permanent name reveal in the near future.
New collective bargaining agreement
In March, the league and the players association agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that will run through the 2030 season. The previous CBA that was signed after the 2011 NFL lockout would have expired after this 2020 season, and thus the league and the NFLPA wanted to conclude a new deal to avoid another labor dispute.
Major changes in the new CBA include:
- expanding the playoffs from 12 to 14 teams beginning this season.
- allowing the league to expand the regular season from 16 to 17 games beginning in 2021 at the earliest, along with a corresponding reduction of the preseason from four games to three.
- players receiving 48% of the league's overall revenue starting in 2021, up from 47%. This would increase to 48.8% if the regular season expands to 17 games.
- creation of new four-year player benefit: up to an additional $1.25M in salary excluded from the cap for up to two players.
- team rosters increasing from 53 to 55 players. Practice squads will increase from 10 to 12 players in 2020 and to 14 players in 2022. The game day roster limit increased from 46 players to 48, with a minimum of eight players being offensive linemen.
- players becoming eligible for pensions after three accrued seasons, down from four previously.
- fifth-year options for first round picks become fully guaranteed if picked up by the team. In addition, the fifth year option salary can rise based on the player's performance in his first three seasons. Previously, it was only tied to when the player was selected in the draft.
- shortening the drug testing window from four months to two weeks at the start of training camp, and eliminating automatic suspensions solely based on positive tests.
- a "neutral decision-maker" will replace the NFL Commissioner on ruling most discipline cases.
- the NFL will also improve teams' training facilities and establish a network of hospitals in team's home cities with free healthcare for current and former players.
The 2020 NFL League year and trading period began on March 18. On March 16, teams were allowed to exercise options for 2020 on players who have option clauses in their contracts submit qualifying offers to their pending restricted free agents and submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2019 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agent credit. Teams are required to be under the salary cap using the "top 51" definition (in which the 51 highest paid-players on the team's payroll must have a combined salary cap.). On March 16, clubs were allowed to contact and begin contract negotiations with the agents of players who were set to become unrestricted free agents.
Free agency began on March 18. Notable players to change teams included:
- Quarterbacks Tom Brady (New England to Tampa Bay), Teddy Bridgewater (New Orleans to Carolina), Andy Dalton (Cincinnati to Dallas), Cam Newton (Carolina to New England), Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers to Indianapolis), and Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay to New Orleans)
- Running backs Melvin Gordon (Los Angeles Chargers to Denver), Frank Gore (Buffalo to New York Jets), Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams to Atlanta), Jordan Howard (Philadelphia to Miami), and Dion Lewis (Tennessee to New York Giants)
- Wide receivers Nelson Agholor (Philadelphia to Las Vegas), Robby Anderson (New York Jets to Carolina), Randall Cobb (Dallas to Houston), Phillip Dorsett (New England to Seattle), Ted Ginn Jr. (New Orleans to Chicago), and Emmanuel Sanders (San Francisco to New Orleans)
- Tight ends Eric Ebron (Indianapolis to Pittsburgh), Tyler Eifert (Cincinnati to Jacksonville), Jimmy Graham (Green Bay to Chicago), Austin Hooper (Atlanta to Cleveland), Jordan Reed (Washington to San Fransisco), and Jason Witten (Dallas to Las Vegas)
- Offensive linemen Bryan Bulaga (Green Bay to Los Angeles Chargers), Jack Conklin (Tennessee to Cleveland), Ereck Flowers (Washington to Miami), Graham Glasgow (Detroit to Denver), and Halapoulivaati Vaitai (Philadelphia to Detroit).
- Defensive linemen Adrian Clayborn (Atlanta to Cleveland), Linval Joseph (Minnesota to Los Angeles Chargers), Gerald McCoy (Carolina to Dallas), Emmanuel Ogbah (Kansas City to Miami), Dontari Poe (Carolina to Dallas), Robert Quinn (Dallas to Chicago), Danny Shelton (New England to Detroit), and Derek Wolfe (Denver to Baltimore)
- Linebackers Vic Beasley (Atlanta to Tennessee), Jamie Collins (New England to Detroit), Leonard Floyd (Chicago to Los Angeles Rams), Dante Fowler (Los Angeles Rams to Atlanta), Bruce Irvin (Carolina to Seattle), Christian Kirksey (Cleveland to Green Bay), A.J. Klein (New Orleans to Buffalo), Nick Kwiatkoski (Chicago to Las Vegas), Cory Littleton (Los Angeles Rams to Las Vegas), Blake Martinez (Green Bay to New York Giants), Joe Schobert (Cleveland to Jacksonville), Kyle Van Noy (New England to Miami), and Nick Vigil (Cincinnati to Los Angeles Chargers)
- Defensive backs Vonn Bell (New Orleans to Cincinnati), James Bradberry (Carolina to New York Giants), Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Chicago to Dallas), Ronald Darby (Philadelphia to Washington), Quinton Dunbar (Washington to Seattle), Kendall Fuller (Kansas City to Washington), Chris Harris Jr. (Denver to Los Angeles Chargers), Malcolm Jenkins (Philadelphia to New Orleans), Byron Jones (Dallas to Miami), Karl Joseph (Oakland to Cleveland), Xavier Rhodes (Minnesota to Indianapolis), Nickell Robey-Coleman (Los Angeles Rams to Philadelphia), Andrew Sendejo (Minnesota to Cleveland), and Desmond Trufant (Atlanta to Detroit)
- Kicker Greg Zuerlein (Los Angeles Rams to Dallas)
- Punter Sam Martin (Detroit to Denver)
The following notable trades were made during the 2020 league year:
- March 16: Baltimore traded TE Hayden Hurst and their 2020 fourth-round pick for Atlanta's 2020 second and fifth round picks
- March 18: Houston traded WR DeAndre Hopkins and their 2020 fourth-round selection to Arizona for RB David Johnson, their 2020 second-round pick, and their 2021 fourth-round pick.
- March 18: Jacksonville traded DE Calais Campbell to Baltimore for their 2020 fifth-round selection previously acquired from Atlanta.
- March 18: Minnesota traded WR Stefon Diggs and their 2020 seventh-round selection to Buffalo for their 2020 first, fifth and sixth round selection and their 2021 fourth-round selection.
- March 18: Tennessee traded DT Jurrell Casey to Denver for their 2020 seventh-round selection.
- March 18: San Francisco traded DT DeForest Buckner to Indianapolis for their 2020 first-round selection.
- March 18: Jacksonville traded QB Nick Foles to Chicago for their 2020 fourth-round selection.
- March 18: Carolina traded G Trai Turner to the Los Angeles Chargers for T Russell Okung.
- March 18: Jacksonville traded CB AJ Bouye to Denver for a 2020 fourth-round selection.
- March 19: Detroit traded CB Darius Slay to Philadelphia for a 2020 third-round selection and 2020 a fifth-round selection.
- April 9: The Los Angeles Rams traded WR Brandin Cooks and their 2022 fourth-round selection to Houston for their 2020 second-round selection.
- April 21: New England traded TE Rob Gronkowski and a 2020 seventh-round selection to Tampa Bay in exchange for a fourth-round selection.
- April 25: Washington traded OT Trent Williams to San Francisco for a 2020 fifth-round pick and a 2021 third-round pick.
- July 25: The New York Jets traded S Jamal Adams and a 2022 fourth-round selection to Seattle for S Bradley McDougald, 2021 and 2022 first-round selections and a 2021 third-round selection.
- C Travis Frederick – Five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro (one first-team and two second-team). Played for the Dallas Cowboys during his entire seven-year career.
- TE Antonio Gates – Eight-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro (three first-team and two second-team). Played for the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers during his entire 16-year career.
- LB Luke Kuechly – Seven-time Pro Bowler, seven-time All-Pro (five first-team and two second-team), 2012 Defensive Rookie of the Year, 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, and 2017 Art Rooney Award winner. Played for the Carolina Panthers during his entire eight-year career.
- QB Eli Manning – Four-time Pro Bowler, two-time Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP (XLII & XLVI), first overall selection in the 2004 NFL Draft, and 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award co-winner. Played for the New York Giants during his entire 16-year career.
- RB Darren Sproles – Three-time Pro Bowler, two-time First-Team All-Pro and Super Bowl LII champion. Played for the San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints, and Philadelphia Eagles during his 15-year career.
- OT Joe Staley – Six-time Pro Bowler and three-time Second-Team All-Pro. Played for the San Francisco 49ers during his entire 13-year career.
- FS Eric Weddle – Six-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro (two first-team and three second-team). Played for the San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, and Los Angeles Rams during his 13-year career.
- G Marshal Yanda – Eight-time Pro Bowler, seven-time All-Pro (two first-team and five second-team), and Super Bowl XLVII champion. Played for the Baltimore Ravens during his entire 13-year career.
- Mike Adams
- Lorenzo Alexander
- Michael Bennett
- Garrett Celek
- Vernon Davis
- James Develin
- Rhett Ellison
- Ramon Foster
- Christian Hackenberg
- Wes Horton
- Davon House
- Lamarr Houston
- Tom Johnson
- Zach Line
- Kyle Long
- Ron Parker
- Dion Sims
- Jeremiah Sirles
- Benjamin Watson
The 2020 NFL Draft took place on April 23–25, 2020 via videoconferencing from various locations across the country; it was originally scheduled to take place in Paradise, Nevada, coinciding with the Oakland Raiders relocation to Las Vegas, but was later cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL announced on March 16 that it had canceled the public festivities. On March 26, 2020, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the draft will go as planned. On April 5, the league further announced that the draft would be held virtually with team coaches and GMs conducting it via phone and internet from home due to team facilities also being closed. Goodell unveiled the first-round picks from his home in Bronxville, New York.
The NFL and the NFLPA reached an agreement on July 24 to allow players to opt out of playing the 2020 season. Players have until August 5 to choose whether or not to opt out. At least 45 players have decided to opt out. Players who do so will not be paid for the 2020 season, but will receive a salary advance of $350,000 for medical opt outs and $150,000 for voluntary opt outs. Players who voluntarily opt out will have their salary advances taken from their 2021 salary, while players who opt out for medical reasons will not. The following is a list of all players who have decided to opt out.
|Brandon Bolden||RB||New England|
|Chandler Brewer||OT||Los Angeles|
|Marcus Cannon||OT||New England|
|Patrick Chung||S||New England|
|Laurent Duvernay-Tardif||G||Kansas City|
|Devin Funchess||WR||Green Bay|
|E. J. Gaines||CB||Buffalo|
|Dont'a Hightower||LB||New England|
|Leo Koloamatangi||C||New York Jets|
|Matt LaCosse||TE||New England|
|Marqise Lee||WR||New England|
|C. J. Mosley||LB||New York Jets|
|Nate Solder||OT||New York Giants|
|Najee Toran||OT||New England|
|Jason Vander Laan||TE||New Orleans|
|Danny Vitale||FB||New England|
|Larry Warford||G||Free agent|
|Cole Wick||TE||New Orleans|
|Damien Williams||RB||Kansas City|
Referee Walt Anderson was promoted to an NFL senior vice president in charge of the officiating training and development program, a newly created position that will work independently from the league's head of officiating Alberto Riveron. The new position was created as part of the 2019 CBA between the league and the NFL Referees Association. Land Clark was promoted to referee to replace Anderson. Clark was a referee in the Pac-12 Conference, and officiated bowl games such as the 2013 BCS National Championship Game and the 2018 Sugar Bowl, before joining the NFL in 2018 as a field judge.
Longtime coach and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell was also named as a league senior vice president of officiating administration. He will oversee the day-to-day operations of the officiating department, and be the primary contact who answers coaches and general managers' officiating questions, among other duties.
The following rule changes for the 2020 season were approved at the NFL Owners' Meeting in May 2020:
- Extending defenseless player protection to a punt/kick returner who possesses the ball but has not had time to avoid or ward off impending contact with an opponent.
- Make permanent the expansion of automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any successful or unsuccessful try attempt.
- Prevent teams from committing multiple dead-ball fouls in the fourth quarter or in overtime while the clock is running in an attempt to manipulate the game clock by starting the clock on the snap following a dead-ball foul. This has been referred to as the "Bill Belichick Rule" for his use of this tactic.
Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Willie Davis
- Davis, a defensive end, spent 12 years in the NFL—the first two with the Cleveland Browns in 1958 and 1959, and the rest with the Green Bay Packers from 1960–1969. He also served as a color commentator for NBC in the early 1970s following the end of his playing career and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981, and also started All-Pro Broadcasting, which owns several stations in Los Angeles and Milwaukee. Davis died on April 15, age 85.
- Chris Doleman
- Doleman, a defensive end, spent ten years of his 15-year NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings, along with shorter stints near the end of his career with the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2012 and died January 28, age 58.
- Bobby Mitchell
- Mitchell, a halfback, entered the league as a Cleveland Brown and spent the majority of his 11-year NFL career as a member of the Washington Redskins; he was the first black player on the team's roster, ending owner George Preston Marshall's 30-year color barrier on the team. He served as an executive with the Redskins for decades after his playing career ended and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 1983. Mitchell died on April 5, age 84.
- Don Shula
- Shula was head coach of the Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins for a combined 33 years; he holds the record for most wins by a head coach in NFL history, with 328, and was inducted into the Hall as a member of the Class of 1997. Shula died May 4, age 90.
- Willie Wood
- Wood, a safety who spent his entire career with the Green Bay Packers, was inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 1989. He died February 3, age 83.
- Joe Beauchamp
- Ed Biles
- Rodger Bird
- Sam Boghosian
- Pete Brewster
- Allen Brown
- Barry Brown
- Rush Brown
- Timmy Brown
- Walter Bryan
- Joe Bugel
- Reche Caldwell
- Mike Curtis
- Tom Dempsey
- Larry Eisenhauer
- Jim Fraser
- Jesse Freitas Sr.
- Nesby Glasgow
- Doug Hart
- Carlton Haselrig
- Conway Hayman
- Zac Henderson
- Tarvaris Jackson
- Les Josephson
- Jim Kiick
- Jon Kilgore
- Phil Krueger
- Lew Luce
- Benny Malone
- Orlando McDaniel
- Pellom McDaniels
- Ron Marciniak
- Manfred Moore
- Gern Nagler
- Jerry Norton
- Dan Radakovich
- Joe Reid
- Pete Retzlaff
- Gloster Richardson
- Ken Riley
- Goldie Sellers
- Del Shofner
- Mike Stratton
- Jerry Sturm
- Terry Tausch
- Roosevelt Taylor
- Max Tuerk
- Sam Wyche
- Jim Youel
- Don Zimmerman
- John Zook
Pending developments in the coronavirus pandemic, training camps for the 2020 season are scheduled to be held in late July through August. By league order, all training camps were held at the regular practice facilities of each team.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game was originally scheduled for August 6 between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers, but on June 25 the league announced its cancellation due to the pandemic. The enshrinement of the Hall of Fame Class of 2020 was also postponed to 2021. On July 3, the NFLPA voted in favor of canceling the preseason, which was agreed to by the league later that month.
The NFL released its regular season schedule on May 7. The season will be played over a 17-week schedule beginning on September 10. Each of the league's 32 teams will play a 16-game schedule, with one bye week for each team. The regular season will conclude with a full slate of 16 games on January 3, 2021, all of which are intra-division matchups, as it had been since 2010.
Despite the concerns relating to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL intends to play its full season as scheduled, but Commissioner Goodell stated that the league was open to contingencies if needed. Due to logistical issues associated with the pandemic, the NFL suspended its international games for the season; the league had previously announced that the Jacksonville Jaguars would host two games at Wembley Stadium in London, the Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins would each host a game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, and the Arizona Cardinals would host a game at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. These games were moved back to their home teams' stadiums.
Using contingencies similar to those built into the 2011 schedule in the event that season's lockout lasted into September, the 2020 schedule was designed to allow for the possibility that the season could be delayed and shortened in the event that conditions are unsafe to begin play in September as scheduled. Every game in Week 2 features teams which share the same bye week later in the season, which would allow these games to be made up on the teams' original byes. Weeks 3 and 4 were set up so that there were neither any divisional rivalry games nor teams on bye in those weeks, and every team with a home game in Week 3 will be on the road in Week 4 and vice versa. This would keep the season as fair as possible if some games have to be canceled. These scheduling changes, along with eliminating the week off before the Super Bowl and moving the Super Bowl back three weeks, would allow the NFL to play a 14-game schedule beginning October 29 while still having the Super Bowl in February.
- Scheduling formula
Under the NFL's current scheduling formula, each team plays the other three teams in its own division twice. In addition, a team plays against all four teams in one other division from each conference. The final two games on a team's schedule are against the two remaining teams in the same conference that finished in the same position in their respective divisions the previous season (e.g., the team that finished fourth in its division will play all three other teams in the conference that also finished fourth). The division pairings for 2020 will be as follows:
Highlights of the 2020 season will include:
- NFL Kickoff Game: The 2020 season will begin with the Kickoff Game on Thursday, September 10. The defending Super Bowl LIV champion Kansas City Chiefs will host the Houston Texans.
- Thanksgiving Day: As has been the case since 2006, three games will be played on Thursday, November 26, including the traditional afternoon doubleheader featuring Detroit hosting Houston, and Dallas hosting Washington. Pittsburgh will host Baltimore in the nightcap.
- Christmas Day: As Christmas Eve falls on a Thursday, that week's Thursday Night Football game was moved to a late-afternoon kickoff on Christmas Day, December 25, featuring the New Orleans Saints hosting the Minnesota Vikings. This will mark the NFL's first Friday game since 2009, which was also a Christmas game.
Saturday flexible scheduling
When the entire season schedule was released on May 7, the league announced that in both Weeks 15 and 16, up to three of five designated games would be moved to Saturday. The final times of these games will be announced no later than four weeks prior to game day.
- Week 15
- Buffalo at Denver
- Carolina at Green Bay
- Detroit at Tennessee
- Houston at Indianapolis
- New York Jets at Los Angeles Rams
- Week 16
- Cleveland at New York Jets
- Denver at Los Angeles Chargers
- Miami at Las Vegas
- San Francisco at Arizona
- Tampa Bay at Detroit
The 2020–21 playoffs are scheduled to begin on the weekend of January 9–10, 2021 with the Wild Card Playoff Round. With the passage of a new CBA in March 2020, the playoffs will expand to 14 teams. Unlike in previous postseasons (when there were two Wild Card teams per conference, and the conference's top two seeds receive byes), there will be three Wild Card teams per conference, and only the conference's top seed receives a bye. Despite initial speculation that the league may schedule a Wild Card game on Monday night January 11, the league announced that there will be three games each on both January 9 and January 10.
The top seed in the conference will then play the lowest remaining seed, while the other two remaining teams play each other, in the Divisional Round games, scheduled for January 16–17. The winners of those games will advance to the Conference Championships scheduled for January 24. The 2021 Pro Bowl is scheduled for January 31 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. Super Bowl LV will be played the following week, on February 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Head coaching and front office personnel changes
|Team||Departing coach||Interim coach||Incoming coach||Reason for leaving||Notes|
|Carolina Panthers||Ron Rivera||Perry Fewell||Matt Rhule||Fired||Rivera was fired on December 3, 2019, after going 5–7 (.417) in the first 12 games of the season. In 8+ seasons as the Panthers head coach, they were 79–67–1 (.541), with four playoff appearances including three NFC South division titles and one Super Bowl appearance.
Fewell, the defensive backs coach, took over on an interim basis until the end of the season. Fewell went 0–4 as interim head coach.
|Cleveland Browns||Freddie Kitchens||Kevin Stefanski||Kitchens was fired on December 29, 2019, after going 6–10 (.375) in one season as head coach.
Stefanski, who previously served as the offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, was hired on January 13. He was on the Vikings staff for 14 years. This is his first head coaching position at any level.
|Dallas Cowboys||Jason Garrett||Mike McCarthy||Contract expired||On January 5, following several days of speculation, the Cowboys announced they would not renew Garrett's contract when it expires January 14. The Cowboys were 85–67 (.559) in 91⁄2 seasons under Garrett, making the playoffs 3 times but never advancing past the divisional round.
McCarthy was hired as the Cowboys' new coach on January 6. He had spent the 2019 season out of football after 12+ seasons as the Green Bay Packers head coach with a record of 135–85–2 (.613) with nine playoff appearances and one Super Bowl championship.
|New York Giants||Pat Shurmur||Joe Judge||Fired||Shurmur was fired on December 30, 2019, after going 9–23 (.281) in two seasons as the Giants' head coach, with no playoff appearances.
Judge was hired on January 8, after serving most recently as the special teams coordinator for the New England Patriots from 2015 to 2019, as well as the wide receivers coach in 2019. This is his first head coaching position at any level.
|Washington Football Team||Jay Gruden||Bill Callahan||Ron Rivera||After an 0–5 start, Gruden was fired on October 7, 2019. He had a 35–49–1 (.418) record for his 5+ season tenure with the organization, with one playoff appearance in 2015.
Callahan, the team's assistant head coach/offensive line coach, was previously the head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2002 and 2003, with a record of 15–17 (.469) and one Super Bowl appearance; he finished out the 2019 season with a 3–8 (.273) record.
Front office personnel
|Team||Position||Departing office holder||Incoming office holder||Reason for leaving||Notes|
|Cleveland Browns||General manager||John Dorsey||Andrew Berry||Mutual decision||Dorsey and the Browns parted ways on December 31, 2019, after three seasons.
Berry was hired on January 28, 2020 as the Browns' general manager and executive vice president of football operations. He served as the Philadelphia Eagles' vice president of football operations in 2019, and had worked for the Browns from 2016 to 2018 as vice president of player personnel. At age 32, he is the youngest general manager in NFL history.
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Executive vice president of football operations||Tom Coughlin||Position eliminated||Fired||Coughlin was fired on December 18, 2019, after three seasons with the Jaguars.  The team announced after the season that Coughlin's position will not be filled and that head coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell will return in 2020. |
|Washington Football Team||President||Bruce Allen||Position eliminated||Allen was fired December 30, 2019, after ten years with the team.|
- This is planned to be the first season that the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams will share SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The Rams had played at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the past four seasons, and the Chargers had played at Dignity Health Sports Park for the past three seasons. SoFi Stadium will become the third stadium, and second to be in current use, since the 1970 AFL–NFL merger to be shared by two NFL teams (MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford, New Jersey, is home to the New York Giants and New York Jets, as was its predecessor, Giants Stadium).
- The Raiders are scheduled to relocate from Oakland to the Las Vegas area and play their home games at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada. NFL team owners had previously approved the move on March 27, 2017, but the Raiders remained at Oakland Coliseum until the completion of their new Las Vegas stadium. The Raiders made the move to Las Vegas official on January 22, 2020.
- Prior to the 2020 season, the Buffalo Bills had a buyout window in their lease with their home stadium, allowing them to cancel it for a $29 million fee. The Bills were not expected to opt out of the lease, since plans for a future Buffalo Bills stadium are still in the earliest preliminary discussions as of 2019 and conditions in the lease also prohibited founding owner Ralph Wilson and his estate from selling the franchise to anyone who would relocate the team out of Buffalo, which current owners Kim and Terry Pegula have no plans to do. Commissioner Goodell gave an ultimatum during the state of the league address giving the team "the next several months, if not sooner" before they "(have) to settle" the matter. On January 31, 2020, the team formally stated they would not exercise the buyout option. Since the Bills chose not to opt out, the team cannot exit the lease until it expires at the end of the 2022 season and would be liable for a $400 million penalty if they overturn the clause in court.
- 2020 will be the last season in which Mercedes-Benz will be the naming rights sponsor for the New Orleans Saints's Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
With a total of eight teams unveiling changes, ranging from minor tweaks to full rebrands, this was the most uniform changes in the Nike uniform era in any offseason.
- Atlanta Falcons: On April 8, the Falcons unveiled new uniforms, featuring a larger helmet logo, silver facemasks, new fonts for the numbers, and a prominent "ATL" placed above the numbers.
- Cleveland Browns: On April 15, the Browns revealed new uniforms that reverted back to the team's classic design used prior to 2015. Some elements of the 2015 style were retained, including the brighter shade of orange, the modernized version of block numbers, and brown facemasks.
- Indianapolis Colts: On April 13, the Colts announced that serifs will be added to their jerseys numbers similar to the design used in the 1950s and 1960s and revealed a new modernized wordmark and secondary logo that features the outline of Indiana carved out of a "C". They also introduced a new color, anvil black, which will be used on the Nike swoosh on white jerseys.
- Los Angeles Chargers: On March 24, the Chargers announced that they would eliminate navy blue from their official branding, reflecting their previous season's change of using powder blue as their primary jerseys. They also debuted a modified logo and a new wordmark to reflect this. On April 21, the Chargers revealed new uniforms, which bear elements from other previous sets, including numbers on the helmets and the addition of a navy blue color rush set.
- Los Angeles Rams: On March 23, the Rams unveiled new logos and color scheme. The new colors are brighter shades of the royal blue and gold used on their 1999 throwback jerseys, dubbed "Rams Royal" and "Sol" by the team, respectively. The team's new logo features a stylized "LA" with a ram's horn spiraling out from the top of the "A". The team unveiled new uniforms on May 13. Notable features include the addition of an off-white away jersey, which the official color for that uniform is called "Bone". Other features include team wordmark logo patches on the right side of the chest and a unique fabric for the numbers. The helmet also has a metallic "Rams Royal" colored shell and a new ram horn design to match the logos.
- New England Patriots: The Patriots made some changes to their uniform. The all-blue "Color Rush" design became the primary home uniform set, complete with updated block letters and numbers, and blue/red/white socks. A corresponding white uniform was also unveiled and will also be paired with the blue pants. Both uniforms featured truncated shoulder striping as a nod to the "Pat Patriot" uniforms.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: On April 7, the Buccaneers unveiled new uniforms resembling the ones they wore from 1997 to 2013, including that design's block numbers, black masks, pewter pants, and all-white road set. Some elements of the previous 2014 design remain, including the enlarged flag-and-crossed-swords logo and the secondary ship logo on the sleeves. The team also unveiled an all-pewter Color Rush uniform.
- Washington Football Team: On July 23, the franchise announced they would play the season as the Washington Football Team and immediately dropped the former brand's logo while retaining the brand's color scheme. The team's uniforms essentially remained the same, but without the helmet stripe and with the logo being replaced by the player's jersey number in gold, as well as a "Washington" wordmark on the chest replacing "Redskins".
- To commemorate the franchise’s 60th anniversary, the Dallas Cowboys will wear a special patch on their jerseys.
This will be the seventh year under the current broadcast contracts with ESPN, CBS, Fox, and NBC. This includes "cross-flexing" (switching) Sunday afternoon games between CBS and Fox before or during the season (regardless of the conference of the visiting team). NBC will continue to air Sunday Night Football, the annual Kickoff Game, and the primetime Thanksgiving game. ESPN will continue to air Monday Night Football and the Pro Bowl with the latter being simulcast on ABC. This will be the third year that Fox will air Thursday Night Football alongside NFL Network. CBS will televise Super Bowl LV. Under the current rotation, NBC was originally planned to broadcast the game. However, NBC traded the game to CBS in exchange for Super Bowl LVI, which will fall during the 2022 Winter Olympics as the first to be scheduled during an ongoing Olympic Games (NBC also holds the U.S. broadcast rights to the Olympics).
Although ESPN's current MNF deal expires in 2021, and the contracts with CBS, Fox and NBC end in 2022, the league may begin negotiations on new broadcast deals in 2020. Prior to the 2020 season, the league has the option to cancel DirecTV's exclusive contract to air NFL Sunday Ticket, the league's out-of-market sports package. DirecTV has held exclusive rights since the package was introduced in 1994.
To coincide with the 50th anniversary of Monday Night Football, ESPN will simulcast the Las Vegas Raiders' September 21 home opener against the New Orleans Saints on ABC, marking the first regular season contest aired on ABC since 2005.
Rights to the two new wild card games were acquired by CBS and NBC, with each network paying around $70 million for the additional game. CBS is planning to air an alternate broadcast for the new game on sister network Nickelodeon, oriented towards a youth audience, while NBC will carry the game in Spanish on Telemundo.
On April 29, 2020, Amazon renewed its digital rights to TNF through the 2022 season, maintaining the existing arrangement to simulcast the 11 games aired by Fox on Prime Video and Twitch, but also adding exclusive worldwide rights to one late-season game per-season (which will be produced by CBS and simulcast on over-the-air stations in the markets of the participating teams).
As of the 2019 season, local stations in markets with NFL teams have been allowed on a limited basis to air another NFL game opposite the game involving that city's home team. The initial version of the rule limited this to two games per-season; for 2020, this is being expanded to four per-season.
Tony Romo, CBS' lead color commentator, renewed his contract with CBS in a long-term, $17 million per-year deal, the most lucrative contract for a sports commentator in NFL history. Romo's contract was set to expire during the preseason, but CBS included a right of first refusal clause in his previous contract allowing them to match other networks' offers.
ESPN will replace its Monday Night Football commentator team, moving Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland to other positions on the network. Tessitore and McFarland lasted two years on the network's Monday night broadcast team and received poor response throughout their tenure. ESPN is expected to move one of its existing college football teams.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on production
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely that only a skeleton production crew will be physically at the stadiums, and each network will have their announcing teams call the games off of monitors at their respective studios. NBC Sunday Night Football lead commentator Al Michaels told the New York Post in May 2020 that he is opposed to this, saying that although "I understand that we have to take precautions here ... That would not fly as far as I am concerned. You have to be able to feel it, even without fans."
During an interview with talk show host Andy Cohen, Fox NFL lead commentator Joe Buck stated that the network had not ruled out the possibility of using artificial crowd noise on its telecasts to make up for the possibility of limited or no attendance at games, and that Fox was also exploring the possibility of masking empty stands with CGI crowds, as it has done with its baseball coverage.
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CBS will have the final round of The Masters on Nov. 15 (Week 10), but its three games will all begin after 4 p.m. EST.
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