With the Superbowl now in the rearview mirror, the NFL off-season is officially here, and many fans are settling into battling the “Offseason Blues”. Counting down the days until teams once again take the field, and, football life as we know returns, can seem like looking into a black hole of nothingness. However, for many teams this off season promises action off the field that will be every bit as fierce and competitive as the action we thirst for as our favorite team takes the field on Sundays.
XClassy Lassy, Staff NFL Writer
Behind-the-scenes “MVPs”, the team deal makers and strategist responsible for orchestrating the playoffs runs are about to begin competing for the best talent available while handicapped by budgetary constrictions as dictated by the Salary Cap. Fans may find that by following some important offseason dates around the NFL league they will be able to “stay in the game” by remaining up-to-date on off-field maneuvers critical to the design and preparation for the 2013-14 season and thereby minimize the effects of post-season depression. These 16 important NFL dates involve 22 different important issues.
Mark your calendar for these important NFL dates:
February 20-26: Combine Timing and Testing, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.
February 22: Pro Hall of Fame Game Opponents Announced
March 9-11: Clubs are permitted to enter into contract negotiations with certified player agents who will be Unrestricted Free Agents at the end of the current League Year.
March 12: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2013 on all players who have option clauses in their 2012 contracts.
March 12: 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 12: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a minimum salary offer to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2012 contracts and who have fewer than three seasons of free agency credit.
March 12: All 2012 player contracts expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
March 12: Top-51 Begins. All clubs must be under the Salary Cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.
March 12: The 2013 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
March 12: NFL Trading period begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, for 2013 after expiration of all 2012 contracts
March 17-20: Annual League Meeting, The Biltmore, Phoenix, Arizona. Accompanied by announcement
of scheduling and opponents for 1st game and opening weekend night games.
Early April: Team Voluntary workouts begin
April 17: 2013 Schedule Announced.
April 25-27: 2013 NFL Draft, New York City, New York.
May 10-12: Saints Rookie Minicamp, Saints facilities in Metairie, La. (media not invited)
May 20-22: NFL Spring League Meeting, Hyatt-Harborside, Boston, Massachusetts.
June 24-27: Rookie Symposium
Mid-July: (15 days before first preseason game) Training Camps open (exact dates vary according to team)
August 4: Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony/Hall of Fame Game, Canton, Ohio
August 8-11: First Preseason Game Starts
August 28: First Roster Cutdown from 90-75
September 1: Final Roster Cutdown from 75-53
September 5-8: 2013 Regular Season NFL Kickoff
Good Luck in the Off-season; Let the Games Begin!
Picture Credits: Pic courtesy of kellyskindergarten.com
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