The 2019 NFL league year and trading period began on March 13. On March 8, teams were allowed to exercise 2019 options for players with option clauses in their contracts, to submit qualifying offers to their pending restricted free agents and to submit minimum salary tenders to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2018 contracts who had fewer than three accrued seasons of free-agent credit. Teams were required to be under the salary cap using the "Top 51" definition (in which the team's 51 highest-paid players must have a combined salary cap). On March 11, 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 13. Notable players to change teams included:
Walt Coleman III retired: With 30 seasons as an NFL official, Coleman was the longest-tenured. Former NFL Europe referee Adrian Hill, a longtime official in various positions, replaced Coleman.
The following rule changes were approved for the 2019 season at the NFL owners' meeting on March 26:
Make permanent the experimental kickoff rules from the 2018 season.
Abolish all blindside blocks anywhere on the field (personal foul, 15 yards).
As a one-year experiment, make the following plays reviewable, subject to coaches' challenges outside of the final 2:00 of each half, and subject to booth review after the two-minute warning of each half or entire overtime:
Pass interference, whether called or not (modified in June 2019)
Change how double fouls are enforced after a change in possession; the last team to possess retains the ball at the spot of enforcement. If the enforcement spot is after a touchback, the ball is placed at the 20-yard line (after punt or turnover) or 25-yard line (free kick). If the spot of enforcement is in the end zone, the ball is placed at the 1-yard line.
Make scrimmage kick rules apply if a missed field goal is touched in the end zone before hitting the ground, and if the ball is touched by either team behind the line of scrimmage.
Allow teams to enforce a personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct penalty committed during a touchdown on either the try or on the ensuing kickoff. Previously, these fouls were required to be enforced on the ensuing kickoff.
Individuals not in uniform who enter the field to celebrate a play will draw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty (15 yards, and automatic first down if on the defensive team).
Players who make any flagrant "football" play risk immediate disqualification. Previously, this was limited to players who make a flagrant "non-football" play.
An additional rule change was built upon a rule originally passed in 2018. The NFL limited helmets to a list of 34 league-approved models, up from the 23 originally approved in 2018. The grandfather clause allowing existing players to wear their previous non-approved helmets expired, and 32 players were required to change helmets. In May 2019, the NFL banned Oklahoma drills, "bull in the ring," and other high-contact drills from team practices. In June 2019, the league clarified the March 2019 temporary rule change regarding reviews of pass interference plays as follows:
The initial rule passed in March 2019 regarding review of pass interference stays.
A ruling will only be changed if there is clear and obvious evidence that pass interference did or did not occur (as is the standard for any other replay review).
All pass plays are subject to review for pass interference, including the "Hail Mary" play.
Midway through the season, another rule was introduced without explicit approval from the competition committee:
Drop kicks may no longer be used on kickoffs. This ruling came after the use of a drop kick in by Baltimore against Kansas City in Week 3. Baltimore received clearance to use the drop kick from the in-game officials. However, after the game, the league office claimed that the maneuver was illegal without specifying what was illegal about it other than claiming that it had not been kicked immediately after hitting the ground (recorded video of the kick proved that it had indeed been kicked immediately after hitting the ground). The game officials allowed the kick to stand unpenalized during the game. This rule change also came after Seattle attempted several drop-kick kickoffs in 2018.
Bowlen owned the Denver Broncos since 1984. His Broncos won three Super Bowls during his tenure (XXXII, XXXIII and 50). He was inducted in 2019 but died from complications of Alzheimer's disease at the age of 75 on June 13, before the induction ceremonies. Under the terms of a succession plan, the team will be operated by a trust headed by longtime executive Joe Ellis until it can be determined which of Bowlen's five surviving children will inherit the team.
Brown spent his first four seasons with the Denver Broncos (1963–1966) and his last twelve with Oakland Raiders (1967–1978), winning Super Bowl XI with the Raiders. Brown was also a nine-time Pro Bowler and was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984. He died on October 22 at the age of 78.
Buoniconti, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001, was an eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker who played seven seasons with the Boston Patriots from 1962–1968 and seven more with the Miami Dolphins from 1969–1974 and 1976. He won two Super Bowls with the Dolphins in 1972 and 1973. Buoniconti died on July 30 at the age of 78.
Langer, who played center for 11 NFL seasons, nine with the Miami Dolphins alongside Buoniconti (with the team earning its perfect season during his rookie year) and two with the Minnesota Vikings, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987. He died on August 29 at the age of 71.
Marchetti was a defensive end who played 14 seasons in the NFL, 13 with the Baltimore Colts. Marchetti won two NFL championships, was selected to 11 Pro Bowls and made earned first-team All-Pro designations with the Colts. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972. Marchetti died on April 29 at the age of 93.
Starr played quarterback for the Green Bay Packers during his entire 16-year career (1956-1971) and was the team's undisputed starter for the last 12 of those seasons. He was the Packers' starting quarterback for all five of the NFL championships the team won in the 1960s and was the Most Valuable Player of the first two World Championship Games. He also had a nine-season run as the Packers' head coach from 1975–1983, but only two of the nine were winning seasons (one of those, 1982, was shortened by a strike, and was also Starr's only playoff appearance as a coach). Starr was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977. He died on May 26 at the age of 85.
Bidwill was the owner of the Arizona Cardinals since the 1960s. He died on October 2 at the age of 88. The Bidwill family has been associated with the Cardinals since Bidwill's father Charles bought the team in 1933. His son Michael is expected to succeed his father as team owner.
On October 18, 2018, the NFL announced that it would commemorate its 100th season throughout 2019, beginning with Super Bowl LIII in February 2019. An NFL 100 emblem was featured in promotions across all NFL properties during the season, worn on jerseys as a patch, placed on game balls, and painted on fields.
The Chicago Bears (who, as the Decatur Staleys, were one of the 14 charter members of the league) celebrated their centennial season with commemorative events throughout 2019. On November 15, 2018, the team unveiled a customized version of the league-wide centennial emblem (which was worn on jerseys in place of the NFL-branded version). The team also unveiled a throwback jersey based on its 1936 design, which it donned for two games.
In honor of the site of the first NFL game, the league announced plans to donate a new artificial turf field to Triangle Park in Dayton, Ohio, home field of the former Dayton Triangles, intending for Cincinnati to hold a day of training camp at the site. However, the project was rejected by the city after concerns that construction could potentially disturb a Native American burial site. The NFL instead donated the turf to nearby Kettering Field. The Bengals still held a training camp day in Dayton, doing so at Welcome Stadium instead.
The NFL intentionally scheduled a weekly game to honor landmark moments in NFL history:
The 2019 regular season's 256 games were played over a 17-week schedule that began on September 5, 2019. Each of the league's 32 teams played a 16-game schedule, with one bye week for each team. There were games on Monday nights and on Thursdays, including the National Football League Kickoff game and games on Thanksgiving Day. The regular season concluded with a full slate of 16 games on December 29, all of which were intra-division matchups, as it had been since 2010.
Under the NFL's current scheduling formula, each team played the other three teams in its own division twice. In addition, teams played against all four teams in one other division from each conference. The final two games on a team's schedule were against the two remaining teams in the same conference that had finished in the same position in their respective divisions in 2018 (e.g., the team that finished fourth in its division played all three other teams in the conference that also finished fourth). The division parings for 2019 were as follows:
The entire schedule was released on April 17, 2019.
Highlights of the 2019 season included:
NFL Kickoff Game: The Kickoff Game was played September 5. Chicago hosted Green Bay in honor of the Bears' and the NFL's centennial season, a game announced on March 25 ahead of the rest of the schedule. Green Bay won the game, 10–3. The move broke with the league tradition to give the defending Super Bowl champion the hosting rights to the first game of the season; New England instead hosted the first Sunday Night Football game against Pittsburgh, which the New England won 33–3.
NFL London Games: Four games were played in London in 2019: Oakland hosted and defeated Chicago on October 6 and Tampa Bay hosted and lost to Carolina on October 13, both at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Los Angeles Rams hosted and defeated Cincinnati on October 27 and Jacksonville hosted and lost to the Houston on November 3, both at Wembley Stadium. Houston and Carolina both made their first trip to London, leaving Green Bay as the only NFL team to have not played a game in London.
When the entire season schedule was released on April 17, the league announced Saturday games to be played in Week 16. On November 12, the NFL announced that three games would be moved from Sunday to Saturday
Week 12: The Green Bay–San Francisco game, originally at 4:25 p.m ET on Fox, was flexed into the NBC Sunday Night Football 8:20 p.m. ET timeslot, replacing the originally scheduled Seattle–Philadelphia game, which was moved to 1:00 p.m. ET on Fox. In addition, the Carolina–New Orleans game was cross-flexed from Fox to CBS and the Miami–Cleveland game was cross-flexed from CBS to Fox; kickoff times for both games remained at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Week 13: The Oakland–Kansas City game was moved from 1:00 p.m. ET to 4:25 p.m. ET, trading time slots with the Cleveland–Pittsburgh game; both games remained on CBS.
Week 15: The Buffalo–Pittsburgh game, originally scheduled at 1:00 p.m ET on CBS, was flexed into the NBC Sunday Night Football 8:20 p.m. ET timeslot, replacing the originally scheduled Minnesota–Los Angeles Chargers game, which was moved to 4:05 p.m. on CBS.
Week 17: The San Francisco–Seattle game that was originally scheduled for 4:25 p.m. ET on Fox was selected as the final 8:20 p.m. ET NBC Sunday Night Football game of the season, which decided the NFC West champion. In addition, the following games with playoff implications were rescheduled from 1:00 p.m. ET to 4:25 p.m. ET (with networks in parenthesis): Tennessee–Houston (CBS); Indianapolis-Jacksonville (CBS); Washington–Dallas (Fox); Philadelphia–New York Giants (Fox). The Cleveland–Cincinnati game was cross-flexed from CBS to Fox, but remained at 1:00 p.m. ET.
^ abKansas City finished ahead of New England based on head-to-head victory.
^ abcDenver finished ahead of Indianapolis and NY Jets based on conference record. Division tiebreak was initially used to eliminate Oakland (see below).
^ abDenver finished ahead of Oakland based on conference record.
^ abcOakland and Indianapolis finished ahead of NY Jets based on conference record.
^ abOakland finished ahead of Indianapolis based on head-to-head victory.
^ abJacksonville finished ahead of Cleveland based on record against common opponents. Jacksonville's cumulative record against Cincinnati, Denver, NY Jets, and Tennessee was 4–1, compared to Cleveland's 2–3 cumulative record against the same four teams.
^ abLA Chargers finished ahead of Miami based on head-to-head victory.
^When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.
The 2019 playoffs began on January 4–5, 2020 with the Wild Card Round. The four winners of these games visited the top two seeds in each conference in the Divisional Round games on January 11–12. The winners of those games advanced to the Conference Championships on January 19. The 2020 Pro Bowl was played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on January 26. Super Bowl LIV was played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on February 2.
The start times for the Divisional Round games on Sunday, January 12, were moved to 3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. ET (as is already the case with the conference championship games), rather than the typical 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. windows used for this round in previous seasons.
News of Indianapolis Colts quarterback and 2012 first overall pick Andrew Luck retiring broke out during the Colts' third preseason game. His retirement quickly became one of the most surprising revelations of the year. During his post-game press conference, Luck stated that his retirement was due to the recent mental and physical difficulties of playing football. Luck had won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2018.
Antonio Brown controversies
Wide receiver Antonio Brown was involved in several controversies throughout the off-season, preseason, and regular season. Brown was held out by his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers during week 17 of 2018 due to a heated falling out with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He was subsequently traded to the Oakland Raiders in March 2019. However, Brown's helmet model had been banned by the NFL due to inadequate protection, prompting Brown to hold out of practices and file two grievances against the NFL, both of which were denied. Brown then accepted the new helmet model and returned to practice, but later wore inadequate footwear in a cryogenic chamber and got frostbite on his feet, causing additional concern for his availability in Week 1. Brown next released recorded audio of Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and requested that the Raiders release him. He was subsequently released and signed with the New England Patriots. On September 10, allegations that Brown had raped his former trainer, Britney Taylor, caused speculation that he might be put on the commissioner's exempt list, barring him from playing. However, the NFL did not do so and Brown played in the Patriots' Week 2 game. On September 16, a second woman accused Brown of sexual misconduct. That same day, Pittsburgh-based Dr. Victor Prisk, who worked with Brown during his time with the Steelers, sued Brown for $11,500 in unpaid fees. The Patriots cut Brown on September 20 after he allegedly sent intimidating text messages to his second accuser.
In the final seconds of a November 14 Thursday Night Football matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett tackled Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph after Rudolph completed a screen pass to running back Trey Edmunds. Upset by the late tackle, Rudolph attacked Garrett by attempting to pull off Garrett's helmet. Garrett then ripped off Rudolph's helmet and used it to hit Rudolph in the head while being restrained by Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey and Steelers guard David DeCastro. Pouncey and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi then joined in on the fight, with Pouncey punching and kicking Garrett's head several times. Garrett, Ogunjobi, and Pouncey were all ejected from the game. Following the game, Garrett was suspended for the remainder of 2019 and required to apply for reinstatement in 2020, while Pouncey and Ogunjobi received 2-game and 1-game suspensions, respectively. Garrett was reinstated in February 2020, ending his suspension after six games. The six-game suspension was the longest in NFL history for a single on-field transgression.
Patriots videotaping controversy
During the December 8 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns, the New England Patriots were alleged to have spied on the Bengals' sideline. The Patriots, who were scheduled to play the Bengals the following week, sent a video team to Cleveland to film a documentary of an advance scout, part of the "Do Your Job" series on the Patriots' website. This video contractor was given media credentials by the Browns, but the Bengals and NFL were not made aware of the presence of the Patriots' video crew. According to ESPN's Dianna Russini, a Bengals staffer spotted the Patriots' cameraman and proceeded to observe what he was doing. Allegedly, the cameraman proceeded to point his camera at the Bengals coaching staff and sideline for most of the quarter. The Bengals employee reported him to media relations, who reported him to security; security then seized the film and leaked it to Jay Glazer, who made the footage public. The NFL has launched an investigation into these allegations. This was the second time the current Patriots administration was involved in an unauthorized videotaping scandal, following the Spygate controversy in 2007.
Records, milestones, and notable statistics
The Baltimore Ravens scored 42 points in the first half, setting an NFL record for most points in the first half of a season opener.
Matt Ryan became the 12th player to throw 300 career touchdown passes
JuJu Smith-Schuster became the youngest player in NFL history to record 2,500 career receiving yards, at the age of 22 years, 297 days, a record previously held by Randy Moss, who was 22 years, 310 days old.
Frank Gore became the fourth player in NFL history to rush for 15,000 yards.
Matthew Stafford became the fastest player to throw for 40,000 yards, doing so in 147 games. The record was previously held by Matt Ryan, who reached 40,000 yards in 151 games.
Aaron Rodgers became the fastest player to throw for 350 touchdowns, doing so in 172 games. The record was previously held by Drew Brees, who reached 350 touchdowns in 180 games.
Brett Maher became the first kicker in NFL history to kick three field goals of at least 60 yards in his career.
Marvin Jones became the first player in NFL history to score four receiving touchdowns in a game in which he did not have at least 100 receiving yards; he caught 10 passes for 93 yards and the four touchdowns.
Andy Dalton started the season with an 0–8 record. Having previously started the 2015 season 8–0, Dalton became the first quarterback to start seasons 8–0 and 0–8 since the NFL officially kept quarterbacks' win-loss records in 1950.
The New Orleans Saints became the first team in NFL history to win at least 13 games in a 16-game schedule and get eliminated in the Wild Card Round.
The Saints became the second team to be eliminated from the postseason on their final play of the game in three straight years, joining the 2013–15 Green Bay Packers.
Ryan Tannehill became the second quarterback to win consecutive playoff starts in which he threw for fewer than 100 passing yards and at least one touchdown, joining Terry Bradshaw, who did so in 1974.
Derrick Henry became the first player in NFL history to have two games of 180 rushing yards in the same postseason.
Lewis and the Bengals mutually agreed to part ways on December 31 after a 6–10 (.375) season. In 16 years as the Bengals' head coach, Lewis was 131–122–3 (.518), with 7 playoff appearances. The Bengals never won a playoff game under Lewis and had missed the playoffs in each of his last three seasons.
Taylor was named as head coach on February 5, 2019. This is his first experience as head coach after serving as the Los Angeles Rams' quarterbacks coach. At 35 years old, he became the 2nd youngest active coach in the NFL, after Sean McVay, who coaches Taylor's former team, the Rams.
Jackson was fired on October 29, 2018, accumulating a 3–36–1 (.088) record during his 2½-season tenure with the Browns. Jackson failed to win any away games during his tenure and lost every game in 2017. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who previously served as Buffalo Bills head coach from 2001 to 2003, finished out the 2018 season with a 5–3 (.625) record.
Kitchens was promoted to head coach on January 12, 2019, after serving as the interim offensive coordinator following Jackson's firing. This is his first head coaching position.
McCarthy was fired on December 2, 2018. McCarthy left with a record of 135–85–2 (.613) with nine playoff appearances and one Super Bowl championship. Philbin, the team's offensive coordinator, finished the season as interim coach with a record of 2–2 (.500).
LaFleur was hired on January 8, 2019. Previously the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans, this is his first head coaching position.
Gase was fired on December 31, 2018, after a 7–9 (.438) season. The Dolphins were 23–25 (.479) in Gase's three years as head coach, with one playoff appearance in 2016.
Flores, formerly the New England Patriots' long time assistant, recently as linebackers coach, was announced as head coach on February 5, 2019. After being with the Patriots organization since 2004, this is his first head coaching position.
Koetter was fired on December 30, 2018, after a 5–11 (.313) season. The Buccaneers were 19–29 (.396) in Koetter's three years as head coach, with no playoff appearances. Previously, Koetter was Buccaneers' offensive coordinator for one season in 2015.
Arians was announced as the Buccaneers' new head coach on January 8, 2019. He was previously the head coach for the Arizona Cardinals for five seasons with 50–32–1 (.608) record from 2013 to 2017, leading them to an NFC Championship Game appearance in 2015.
Rivera was fired on December 3, after going 5–7–0 (.417) in the first 13 weeks of the season. In 8+ seasons as the Panthers head coach, they were 76–63–1 (.546), with playoff appearances including 3 NFC South division titles and 1 Super Bowl appearance, going 3–4–0 (.429) in the playoffs.
Fewell, the defensive backs coach, took over on an interim basis until the end of the season. A longtime defensive assistant in the NFL, his only head coaching experience was as the Buffalo Bills interim head coach for the last 7 games of the 2009 season. The Bills went 3–4–0 (.429) in those 7 games.
The Ravens announced on February 2, 2018 that Newsome would retire after 16 years as the team's GM and that Eric DeCosta, most recently the Ravens' assistant GM, would succeed Newsome. Newsome was the first African-American to occupy the GM position in the NFL.
McKenzie was fired on December 10, 2018, after six-plus seasons as Raiders' GM. Herock, team's director of college scouting, served as the Raiders’ interim GM until the team settled on a full-time replacement.
Mayock had previously been a television commentator for the past 26 seasons and has never held a front office position.
Maccagnan was fired on May 15, 2019 after four seasons; vice president of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger was also dismissed. Head coach Adam Gase was named interim GM. Douglas was named the new GM on June 7, 2019.
Gaine was unexpectedly fired on June 7, 2019 after only one season and returned to his previous position with the Buffalo Bills. The Texans have not replaced Gaine; instead, the team has divided the general manager role among several of the team's executives.
A buyout window in the Buffalo Bills' lease on New Era Field opened after the 2019 season. The window allowed the team to cancel its lease on the stadium for a $28 million fee and relocate. If the Bills chose not to exercise the buyout window, they will not be allowed to relocate until after the 2022 season, when the current lease expires. The Bills chose not to exercise the buyout.
Broncos' naming rights
On September 4, the Denver Broncos' home field was rebranded as Empower Field at Mile High. The Broncos had been seeking a long-term naming rights partner for their home field since sporting goods retailer Sports Authority went bankrupt in 2016. Empower Retirement, a retirement plan provider that is based in Denver, had served as a team sponsor since 2015, with the Broncos agreeing to terms on a 21-year deal that will run through 2039, though financial terms were not disclosed. This marks the third naming rights change for the Broncos' home field, following "Invesco Field at Mile High" (2001–2010), "Sports Authority Field at Mile High" (2011–2017) and "Broncos Stadium at Mile High" — the latter of which was used on a temporary basis for 2018.
This was the final season for the Oakland Raiders at RingCentral Coliseum (renamed from the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum in May 2019) before moving to Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders' lease on the Coliseum expired after the 2018 season. The Coliseum management expressed a reluctance to allow the Raiders to continue using the Coliseum after the lease expired unless the team paid more to cover the losses the Coliseum incurred by hosting Raiders games. In December 2018, the city of Oakland filed a lawsuit against the Raiders and the NFL seeking financial damages and unpaid debt, claiming the relocation was illegal but not asking for an injunction forcing the team to stay. The Raiders stated that if any legal action was filed against them, that they would not renew with the Coliseum and find another, undetermined, temporary home for 2019 until Allegiant Stadium was finished. The Raiders then attempted to negotiate a lease with Oracle Park in San Francisco before the San Francisco 49ersvetoed the plan as an infringement on their territorial rights. With the 49ers refusing to waive territorial rights, the Raiders were forced to either renegotiate with the Coliseum or find a temporary stadium outside the San Francisco Bay Area (something that the Raiders management was reluctant to do, though the team acknowledged and considered bids from San Antonio, Texas and Tucson, Arizona). The Raiders, despite reservations about providing funds to the lawsuit being filed against them, negotiated a return to the Coliseum for 2019; a tentative agreement, pending Coliseum and league approval, was announced February 25. The lease agreement was approved by the Oakland Coliseum Authority, the Oakland city council, and Alameda County supervisors by March 21. The Coliseum was the last multi-purpose stadium to be the home of both an NFL and Major League Baseball team (the Oakland Athletics). Barring any future relocations, the Raiders' September 15 game against the Kansas City Chiefs stands as the last NFL game played on a dirt infield.
Carolina Panthers: The Panthers switched to Nike's newest uniform template and updated their pants, removing the team logo from it and streamlining the piping stripe.
Cleveland Browns: On September 4, the Browns announced that they would switch to their former Color Rush uniforms as their primary home set this season, and wore these uniforms for six home games.
Houston Texans: On April 22, the Texans announced that they would add their primary logo on the back of their jerseys, their first uniform update in franchise history. The addition of the logo on the jersey's back makes them the third team in the NFL to do so, after the Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills.
Los Angeles Chargers: On April 16, the Chargers announced that they made their powder blue alternate jerseys the new primary uniforms. In addition to this announcement, they also swapped out their navy blue facemask for gold.
New York Jets: On April 4, the Jets unveiled new uniforms, which introduced black as an accent color and resembled a modernized version of the uniform layout the Jets used from 1978 to 1997, including a return to green helmets and "TV numbers" on the shoulders.
Chicago Bears: To celebrate their 100th season, the Bears wore throwback jerseys based on their 1936 uniforms for two home games.
31 teams wore a version of the NFL centennial emblem, with the NFL shield beneath the "100," on the yoke of their jerseys in place of the regular NFL shield. The Chicago Bears instead wore their own centennial team patch, a customized version of the league-wide centennial emblem with the Bears' colors and logo, on the left side of the jersey.
This was the sixth 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 airs Sunday Night Football, the annual Kickoff Game, and the primetime Thanksgiving game. ESPN airs Monday Night Football and the Pro Bowl with the latter being simulcast on ABC. Fox airs Thursday Night Football along with NFL Network, with Amazon Video and Twitch continuing to simulcast those games online in the second and final year of the two sites' current contract. Fox will also broadcast Super Bowl LIV. ESPN aired coverage for all three days of the 2019 NFL Draft on ABC, replacing Fox's broadcast television simulcast of NFL Network in 2018. ABC's coverage catered towards a mainstream audience and was hosted by the panel of ESPN's College GameDay, while ESPN and NFL Network continued to carry more conventional coverage of the draft.
Under a one-year test, local stations in markets with NFL teams are allowed on a limited basis to air another NFL game opposite the game involving that city's home team, something that had previously been forbidden (this rule had already been waived for the Washington, D.C. market when the Baltimore Ravens are playing at the same time as the Washington Redskins on the opposite network – Washington, D.C. is a secondary market for the Ravens, for the Los Angeles market after the Rams' and Chargers' moves to LA and league-wide for Week 17 since 2014). It was originally reported that all media markets in the U.S. who have CBS and Fox affiliates will have access to three Sunday afternoon games every week regardless of whether the local team is playing at home. The league later clarified that teams will still be able to impose the home exclusivity blackout on a limited basis, so long as they lift the exclusivity at least twice.
On February 28, 2019, Jason Witten announced he would be leaving his color commentator position on Monday Night Football after one season; he returned to the Dallas Cowboys, where he had played tight end for fifteen seasons before joining ESPN in 2018. Witten was not replaced; Booger McFarland, who spent the previous season commentating from atop a crane-like contraption on the sideline, was moved into the booth. Former referee Jeff Triplette also left Monday Night Football as rules analyst. He was replaced with John Parry, who retired the same day his ESPN position was announced; Parry is the third rules analyst ESPN has hired in two years, following Triplette and Gerald Austin.Steve Tasker departed CBS after 21 seasons with the network, all but one as a color commentator, after CBS declined to renew Tasker's contract. Tasker anticipates moving to radio and calling games for Westwood One for the 2019 season. Twitch added "co-streaming" with live commentary from specially chosen users of the service for its 2019 Thursday night games.
^Bergman, Jeremy (April 4, 2019). "New York Jets unveil new uniforms, green helmets". NFL.com. NFL Enterprises, LLC. Archived from the original on April 6, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2019. For the first time in over 20 years, the New York Jets will take the field with a new look, to go with their new head coach and high-priced free agents. The Jets unveiled on Thursday evening their new uniforms, helmets and branding for the 2019 season and beyond. Their team colors are "Gotham Green, Spotlight White and Stealth Black."