Why the Titans Currently Can't Announce Free-Agency Deals or Trades (Or Comment on Them)


NASHVILLE – Free agency is officially under way in the NFL, and it comes after what's already been a busy stretch for the Titans.

After signing quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a multi-year deal on Sunday, the team placed the franchise tag on running back Derrick Henry a day later, keeping the team's 1-2 offensive punch intact.

The Titans also agreed to a new deal with tackle Dennis Kelly earlier this week.

All those moves have officially been announced by the team, and written about on Titans Online, along with a string of other roster moves in the recent weeks, from signing tight end Anthony Firkser, receiver Cameron Batson and linebacker Reggie Gilbert to releasing tight end Delanie Walker, running back Dion Lewis, linebacker Cameron Wake and kicker Ryan Succop.

Now things get tricky during unsettled times in the NFL, and across the world.

By now, you've probably seen reports of Titans coming, and going. Nothing is keeping NFL reporters from doing their jobs, and landing scoops, since the NFL's restrictions on teams don't apply to them.

But you might be wondering why the Titans haven't made any announcements on roster moves or commenting on them.

Well, here's the deal:

NFL teams are not allowed to announce deals or trades until they're official, which typically involves the player passing a physical. And for now, because of the COVID-19 epidemic, physicals are being held up.

NFL teams received a memo prior to the start of free agency regarding announcing player signings.

The memo stated it is not permissible for a club to publicly announce it has agreed to contract terms with a player, subject to a physical examination. Further, the memo reminded clubs may not publicly announce that they have signed a player unless the club has executed an NFL Player Contract.

Because of the evolving public health situation and subsequent agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association, physicals are currently being held up because teams may not bring free agent players to a club facility or other location to meet with team personnel. Also, club personnel, including members of the team's medical staff, may not travel to any location to meet with or conduct medical examinations of a free agent player.

The NFL and NFLPA notified teams they are developing protocols that will provide clubs with opportunities to review a free agent player's medical records from his prior club(s) and to arrange for a free agent player to have a medical exam in the player's home city or at another nearby location.

But it's a work in progress.

In time, the Titans' roster for the 2020 season will take shape.

If/when the team re-signs more of its own players, those moves will be announced just like the deals for Tannehill, Henry and Kelly.

But if you're looking for official announcements in free agency, well, be patient.

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