Now that we are in full-blown offseason mode in the NFL, it is appropriate to look at the important dates coming up on the league calendar, including dates related to the combine, free agency, and the NFL Draft.
NFL Scouting / Regional Combines
The offseason isn't going to last very long, because from February 20th - February 26th, 2013, the NFL Combine will take place in Indianapolis, IN. There are also a lot of regional combines that are being held, including one at the Cleveland Browns training facility in Berea just before the big one in Indianapolis.
The regional combines are smaller combines for players who did not receive invites to the main combine. Players pay to participate, and then scouts run them through the drills. Afterwards, a video of the player, as well as all the normal measurables taken at a combine, are shared with all of the teams. Players who have been out of the league trying to get back in can also have a workout there. The media typically does not cover these smaller combines, but it's interesting to know about them, nonetheless.
|February 9-10||Los Angeles||Orange Coast College-Lebard Stadium|
|February 16-17||Houston||Methodist Training Center|
|February 17||Cleveland||Cleveland Browns Training Facility|
|February 20-26||Indianapolis||Lucas Oil Stadium (NFL COMBINE)
|March 2-3||New York/New Jersey||Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility|
|March 9||Tampa Bay||One Buccaneer Place|
|March 10||Chicago||Walter Payton Center|
|March 16-17||Atlanta||Atlanta Falcons Training Facility|
|March 23-24||Seattle||Virginia Mason Athletic Center|
|March 23-24||Baltimore||Under Armour Performance Center|
|April 6-8||Dallas||Cowboys Stadium (SUPER REGIONAL)
It costs $225 to register for a regional combine, and the registration for the Cleveland one has not been closed yet. Maybe I should give it a go, eh?
Franchise Tag, Free Agency, and NFL Draft Dates
Here are some other important league dates (for the year 2013) to be aware of:
- February 18th: Teams can begin applying the franchise tag to players on their team.
- March 4th: The final day to declare a franchise player.
- March 9th - March 11th: Teams can begin entering contract negotiations with players who will be unrestricted free agents. Qualifying offers to restricted free agents and offers to unrestricted free agents who the team wants to retain should also be made during this stretch.
- March 12th: At 4:00 PM ET, free agency officially begins, and teams may begin signing players or trading players who are still under contract. Additionally, all teams must be under the salary cap at this time.
- March 17th - March 20th: Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, AZ
- April 25th - April 27th: NFL Draft, New York City, NY
- May 20th - May 22nd: NFL Spring League Meeting, Boston, MA