Combine’s over. Now what?

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The NFL Combine is over. We saw many of the upcoming NFL eligibles strutting their stuff at Lucas Oil Stadium this week and yet, not much has changed. So, now what?

For potential draftees, there are invites to NFL facilities and college pro days (see pro day schedule).

Auburn’s Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews of Texas A&M, the draft’s top two offensive lineman, will certainly not be around when the Giants select at No. 12 in the first round. Now, the third-rated lineman (Michigan’s Taylor Lewan) may be gone as well after a fine showing at the Combine (Raanan).

For free agents, March 3rd is the deadline for teams to assign franchise or transition tags on players.

March 8th is the date 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 11th Deadlines/Free Agency Begins

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.

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.

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.

Top-51 Begins. All clubs must be under the 2014 Salary Cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.

All 2013 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

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.

Trading period for 2014 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2013 contracts.

On April 7th, clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2013 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.

On April 21st, Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

May 2nd is the deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets and May 7th is the deadline for Prior Club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.

The NFL Draft will be held in NYC from May 8-10.

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart


Agreed with your assessment regarding Taylor Lewan as possibly not being available by pick 12. Once the Giants and GM Jerry Reese fills in some roster spots through free agency. It should be a little clearer which direction GM Reese will go in the draft. Reese could sign a couple of OL in FA and that would most certainly eliminate the theory of the Giants selecting a OL in the 1sr round. OR Reese could do the same with other positions such as: CB, WR, RB in FA. I definitely do not see Reese seeking a TE in free agency, unless he wants to resign Bear Pascoe (doubtful). This years draft has three positions that in my opinion are deep and they are: WR,CB and OL (tackles, guards, centers). Reese not only needs to have a successful draft in the 1st round, but in all 6 rounds (not including any compensatory pick/picks) based on his last 2 drafts; which was subpar.  


@Michael Stewart  

With our recent luck in the draft we will probably miss Lewan by one or two spots I would think. Hopefully this doesn't turn into the1996 Draft for us where we missed out on Jonathan Ogden who was chosen right before us by the Ravens with the number four pick. We ended up with Cedric Jones  at number 5 and the rest is history as they say. Ogden turned into a star and Jones...not so much. Hopefully Reese does his homework and gets a real good player at number 12. Reese is out of poor drafts as far as I'm concerned.

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

@fast_eddie Agreed, also Reese not only needs to select well in round 1, but also through rounds 2-6 (not counting possible compensatory pick/picks). His last two drafts were sub-par in my opinion and I believe he has one last chance to right the ship.