Although there’s ice and slush all around these days, we are in the throes of the NFL’s dry season, which comes in several stages.
First, there is now until free agency begins on March 11th, in which the big NFL event is the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis from February 19th to the 25th. There will be regional combines throughout the spring as well.
After that, it’s free agent frenzy time – the height of the offseason.
Here are the important dates and events to keep an eye for before the NFL Draft on May 8th in NYC:
NFL Important Dates Feb 3- May 7
February 3: Waiver system begins for 2014.
February 17: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 3: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 8: Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2013 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 11. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 11.
March 11: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2014 on all players who have option clauses in their 2013 contracts.
March 11: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit Qualifying Offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts and to whom they desire to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
March 11: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2013 contracts and who have fewer than three Accrued Seasons of free agency credit.
March 11: Top-51 Begins. All clubs must be under the 2014 Salary Cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.
March 11: All 2013 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
March 11: The 2014 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.The first day of the 2014 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 11. clubs will receive a Personnel Notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 11.
March 11: Trading period for 2014 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2013 contracts.
March 23-26: Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida.
April 7: Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2013 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
April 21: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
May 2: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.
May 7: Deadline for Prior Club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.