NFL Offseason 2013: Key Dates

Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

The offseason is now officially underway, so here are a few dates to look forward to.

The Seahawks' website published a list of key dates for the now ongoing 2013 NFL offseason, so let's take a look at it while we all sit here, sad and depressed that the football is over for the time being.

February

Monday, 4th - Waiver system begins

As you may have noticed, this was yesterday. Teams may now officially release players, which puts them onto the waivers system unless they're vested veterans.

February 9-10 -- Regional Combine, Orange Coast College-Lebard Stadium, Los Angeles, California
February 16 -- Regional Combine, Methodist Training Center (Texans), Houston, Texas
February 17 -- Regional Combine, Cleveland Browns Training Facility, Cleveland, Ohio

Monday, 18th - First day clubs can designate Franchise or Transition players

The Seahawks' free agents are DT Alan Branch, P/K Steven Hauschka, LB Leroy Hill, DT/DE Jason Jones, OL Frank Omiyale, and CB Marcus Trufant. My guess, right now, is that none of these players will get franchise tagged, so in that sense, Monday the 18th may be rather boring, but around the league, other teams will be busy tagging their impending free agents, some of whom we here in Seattle may have some interest in, so it's something to monitor.

Wednesday-Tuesday, 20th-26th - NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis

Cannot wait for the Combine.

March

March 2-3 -- Regional Combine, Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility, New York/New Jersey
Monday, 4th - Deadline to designate Franchise or Transition players

Again, nothing too exciting for Seattle considering their list of free agents, but nonetheless, this is the final day teams can franchise or slap the transition tag on any of their players.

March 9 -- Regional Combine, One Buccaneer Place, Tampa, Florida
March 10 -- Regional Combine, Halas Hall (Bears), Chicago, Illinois

Tuesday, 12th - Free agency begins

Oh boy oh boy oh boy. Mark your calendars with Tuesday March 12th.

More specifically though, on March 12th:

-- Clubs must exercise options for 2013 on all players who have option clauses in their 2012 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 offer to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2012 contracts and who have fewer than three seasons of free agency credit prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.
-- All 2012 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
-- Top-51 Begins. All clubs must be under the Salary Cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.
-- The 2013 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
-- Trading period begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, for 2013 after expiration of all 2012 contracts.

March 16-17 -- Regional Combine, Atlanta Falcons Training Facility, Atlanta, Georgia

Sunday-Wednesday, 17th-20th - Annual Owners Meeting in Phoenix

I believe this is traditionally when the new rules changes are discussed and/or approved, and I also believe that teams will be doled out their compensatory picks.

March 23-24 -- Regional Combine, Virginia Mason Athletic Center (Seahawks), Seattle, Washington
March 23-24 -- Regional Combine, Baltimore Ravens Training Facility, Baltimore, Maryland

April

Friday, 19th - Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets
Thursday-Saturday, 25th-27th - NFL Draft

Um... April 25th to 27th. Mark your calendars if for some weird reason it's not already marked.

May

Friday-Sunday, 10th-12th - Rookie minicamp

Sweet! Last year, the Seahawks constructed a 53-man roster that was made up of the team's draft picks, UDFAs signees, UDFA tryouts, free agent tryouts, and a couple of veteran tryouts sprinkled in. You'll remember that last year's Rookie Minicamp was our first indication of just how good Russell Wilson could be when he wowed the coaches so much that he earned a chance to enter the competition for starting quarterback. Obviously, he ended up winning that.

Other Rookie Mini-Camp standouts from last year included Phil Bates, Sean McGrath, Rishaw Johnson, Deshawn Shead, Kyle Knox, and Cooper Helfet, all of whom are still with the team, and of course, Donnie Lisowski, Lavasier Tuinei, Cordorro Law and a couple others hung around for parts of the season on the practice squad as well. So, the Rookie Mini-Camp is certainly something to watch.

Monday, 20th - OTA sessions begin

OTAs! By the end of May, the season is starting to feel a little closer, as the team gets together for organized team activities at the VMAC.

June

Tuesday-Thursday, 11th-13th - Mandatory minicamp

June is pretty boring - it's generally a time for the players to get away one last time before February, so after this mandatory Minicamp, things will be pretty quiet around the VMAC.

Friday, 14th - Conclusion of offseason program; veterans break begins
Sunday-Saturday, 23rd-29th - Rookie Symposium in Aurora, Ohio

July

Final weekend - Tentative date for players to report to training camp

Awwwww jeaaaaaaaaah.

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