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Giants’ John Mara: Change to NFL calendar not a ‘big deal’

The NFL offseason calendar might drastically change next offseason after going largely unchanged over the last two decades.

But Giants owner John Mara has a message for critics of the plan to push back the NFL Draft to May and stretch out the offseason activities over a longer period of time: Chill out.

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“It changes the way we’ve been doing things for years, but I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Mara said Tuesday morning at the Hyatt Harborside Hotel in East Boston, where the NFL’s owners are meeting to vote on the sites of Super Bowl 50 and 51.

“Every time you change anything, certain coaches and other football people think it’s the end of the world. But you know what? They always manage to adapt.”

On Monday ESPN, citing league and union sources, reported the league and the Players Association are going to move the draft back a few weeks while moving up the start of the league year to before the Indianapolis scouting combine.

The change of the draft to May would start next year. The new league year would start before the combine in 2015 and 2016, a source said.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can set the date of the draft without the NFLPA’s approval, although he would prefer to have the union on board with the change.

Contributing: Staff and wire reports
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