Just because the Super Bowl is over doesn’t mean that the NFL goes into hibernation until the 2014 Hall of Fame game. The offseason is all about creating a roster that is capable of making it to the big game. Listed below are a number of important dates before the preseason begins on Aug. 3. All times listed below are eastern standard time.
February 17: The first day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition tag players.
February 19-25 : NFL Scouting Combine takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
March 3: 4 p.m. is the deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition tag players.
March 8: Teams are permitted to enter into contract negotiations with players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2013 Player Contracts at 4 p.m., on March 11. A contract cannot be executed until March 11.
March 11: Prior to 4 p.m., clubs must exercise options for 2014 on all players who have option clauses in their 2013 contracts.
March 11: Prior to 4 p.m., clubs must submit Qualifying Offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts.
March 11: Prior to 4 p.m., 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: All clubs must be under the 2014 Salary Cap before 4 p.m.
March 11: All 2013 player contracts expire at 4 p.m.
March 11: The 2014 League Year and Free Agency period begins at 4 p.m.
March 11: Trading period for 2014 begins at 4 p.m.
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 teams to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.
May 8-10: 2014 NFL Draft
June 16: Deadline for club to withdraw Qualifying Offer to Restricted Free Agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting a “June 15 Tender” of a one-year contract at 110 percent of the player’s prior-year salary
July 15: 4 p.m. is the deadline for any team that designated a Franchise Player to sign him to a multi-year contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with the team.
Mid-July: Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for Rookies and First-Year Players beginning seven days prior to the club’s reporting date for veteran players. Veteran players other than quarterbacks or injured players can report to a club’s preseason training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the team’s first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.
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