Wednesday, February 5, 2014

An Unofficial Fan Guide to the 2014 NFL Offseason

If there is one thing we've learned over the years from the NFL it is that there is NO off season! The NFL is a year-round sport that allows us to feed our football appetite all year long. Thank you, NFL, for turning what used to be "boring" off season events into great, football-infused, time-consuming, mind-bending television!

If you haven't checked the off season schedule of events...you can check it out right here! This is a good start to keep you entertained and your football thirst quenched until August.

FEB 17th - Teams can officially start designating players as "Franchise" or "Transition" players....this will give us a good idea which big name free agents will be testing the market.

FEB 19-25 - NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis!! You can melt your brain watching 40's, bench press, cone drills, vertical leaps, and position drills. This is the time when every one of us becomes the best pro football talent evaluator in the country!

MAR 8th - Teams can begin negotiating with UFA's. They can't sign players to contracts quite yet, but at least they are talking about it...which means we'll be talking about it!

MAR 11 - The 2014 League Year begins! Teams can sign free agents, and must also be under the 2014 salary cap by this date. Teams can also start to execute trades.

APR 7th - Teams that have a new coach can start the offseason workout programs...Jamarcus Russell can start working out again as well.

APR 21st - Everyone else can start offseason workout programs...Jamarcus Russell will need a break by now.

MAY 2nd - This is the deadline for RFA's to sign offer sheets

MAY 8th-10th - NFL Draft!! Here's the day where we all think our team just drafted the next franchise player to lead them to the promise land! Might as well just watch rounds 3-7 though...that's where all the talent is (see Seattle).

JULY 15th - Players tagged as Franchise players must sign extensions by 4pm otherwise they can only sign a 1 year deal with no opportunity for an extension until that team's season is over. It's also my birthday! Buy me something nice...

Mid-July - Preseason training camp begins! Finally...we can smell the season right around the corner!

August - The Hall of Fame game will kick off the preseason games for 2014. It's not a good game, but by this time we haven't seen a real NFL game in so long that we actually believe what we're watching is real quality. Afterwards...we can discuss the winner of this game going all the way!

THURSDAY SEPT 4TH - This is completely speculation on my part, but this could be the regular season opener! Last year it was on Sept 5th...so why not have it here again for 2014?? The opening kickoff will signal the arrival of the 2014 regular season and another long road to Super Bowl XLVIV!!

So there you have it. An entire off season schedule of events that can keep you busy from February until opening kickoff of 2014! Put it in your calendar and prepare yourself for another great year of football!

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