NFL bars player and team personnel travel in free agency

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FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2020, file photo, Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins celebrates with fans after an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills in Houston. The Arizona Cardinals have acquired three-time All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins in a trade that will send running back David Johnson and draft picks to the Houston Texans, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Monday, March 16, 2020, because the trade hasn't been officially announced. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

The NFL has barred in-person interviews with free agents and is requiring local physical examinations for them rather than team-conducted exams.

In a memo sent to the 32 franchises on Monday, the league also banned travel by team personnel to meet with free agents as well as those players traveling to team facilities. The league's business year begins Wednesday, and the period in which players' representatives could negotiate with clubs began Monday — though no deals could be finalized.

All offseason activities such as meetings, practices and minicamps have been delayed indefinitely as a safeguard against the new coronavirus. No players can enter a club facility through March 31, with the exception of those receiving medical treatment.

The restrictions were first reported by ESPN.

In a flurry of activity around the league Monday night, the Dallas Cowboys and top receiver Amari Cooper agreed on a $100 million, five-year contract. That came after the Cowboys placed their exclusive franchise tag on Dak Prescott, securing the rights to their star quarterback for an estimated $31.5 million while the sides continue working on a long-term deal.

Buffalo agreed to acquire big-play receiver Stefon Diggs and a seventh-round draft pick from Minnesota in exchange for four draft picks, including No. 22 overall this year. The Vikings also agreed with quarterback Kirk Cousins on a $66 million, two-year contract extension.

Miami sealed deals with four likely starters and made Byron Jones the NFL's highest-paid cornerback at more than $76.5 million over five years, surpassing new teammate Xavien Howard. The Dolphins upgraded their pass rush by landing linebacker Kyle Van Noy ($51 million, four years) and defensive end Shaq Lawson ($30 million, three years), and also swung a deal with offensive lineman Ereck Flowers ($30 million, three years).

Free agent quarterback Marcus Mariota agreed to join the Las Vegas Raiders, giving them an experienced backup who could also challenge Derek Carr for the starting role. Mariota, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft, lost his starting job in Tennessee last season to Ryan Tannehill.