About this time each year, we have people start asking about deadlines for this and that. Here are the notable off season dates in the NFL.
Feb. 15: Deadline for teams to sign CFL players who are under contract
Casey Printers? Jabari Arthur? Nah, the Chiefs won't take too long of a look at any CFL players. If they look at all. There's a reason these guys are not in the NFL. Sippio (cough)....
Feb. 22: Deadline for teams to designate franchise and transition players
Primetime took a look at the franchise tag and what it means for the Chiefs just a few days ago.
Feb. 18-24: NFL Scouting Combine
I have to admit I'm not a big fan of the combine. I understand why it exists- to measure the measureables of players- but every year some player has a fantastic workout and suddenly they've jumped a round in the draft projections. Guy will run fast 40 yard dashes. Others will lift a ton of weight. It doesn't matter in my opinion.
Feb. 27: Free Agency begins
For the first time in a while, the free agency period should be pretty interesting. With Scott Pioli at the helm, we can't expect the same old strategy. Should be fun.
March 1: Teams must be under salary cap
March 3: NFL trading and veteran free agent signing periods begin
April 15: NFL restricted free agent signing period ends
April 25-26: NFL Draft
Well I don't have to tell you that this is the draft is by far the best part of the off season. Last year, we had over 1000 comments on draft day alone. I expect this year will be at least twice that.
June 1: Deadline for old clubs to send tender to unsigned unrestricted free agents to receive exclusive negotiating rights for rest of season if player is not signed by another club by July 22; Deadline for old clubs to send tender to unsigned restricted free agents or to extend qualifying offer to retain exclusive negotiating rights.
We'll bring this up if the case arises. Frankly, I'm not even sure what it means right now. Primetime?
Primetime: Let's Ask The Commish:
A prior team has until June 1 to tender an UFA or a RFA a qualifying offer (worth at least 110% of the salary of the final year of the contract with the prior team). In the case of UFAs, if such an offer is made, the player has until July 22 to sign with a DIFFERENT club. If he doesn't, then the only team that the player can sign with after July 22, is the prior club. In the case of RFAs, if such a June 1 tender is made, the player can ONLY sign with the the prior club. If no June 1 tender is made for a RFA (or the tender is rescinded by the prior club before July 22), then the player becomes an UFA. In the case of both UFAs and RFAs, if the player does not sign with the Prior team by the first Tuesday following Week 10 of the regular NFL season, then the player shall be prohibited from playing in the NFL for the remainder of that season.
June 15: Deadline for old clubs to withdraw original qualifying offer to unsigned restricted free agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting tender of 110 percent of previous year's salary.
August 8th: Derrick Thomas enshrined in the Hall of Fame
Of course, the most important date we're looking at is in early September, when the 2009 regular NFL season begins. That's a long way off but no worries. We'll keep you entertained here until that very moment and long after.