NFL offseason 2019: 12 important dates to know

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The Green Bay Packers will travel to Solder Field to face long-time rivals the Chicago Bears in the first game of the season.

Bears and Packers to kick off 100th NFL season

The Green Bay Packers will travel to Solder Field to face long-time rivals the Chicago Bears in the first game of the season.

And just like that, the 2018 NFL season is over.

As the New England Patriots bask in the glow of a sixth Super Bowl title, the other 31 teams are left to examine what went wrong and how to fix it.

While Sundays will not be the same for the next six months, there is enough on the league's calendar to hold our attention until the NFL returns in August.

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Here are the most important dates to know entering the NFL offseason:

 

February 14: Athletics report to MLB spring training

No, that is not a typo. There is influence from MLB as former Oklahoma double threat Kyler Murray is one of the top prospects of the 2019 NFL Draft even though he has already committed to playing baseball for the Oakland Athletics. Oakland selected Murray with the ninth overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft and gave him a $4.6million signing bonus, though the Heisman Trophy winner would have to give back most or all of it if he opts to pursue football instead.

 

February 19: Franchise/transition period begins

This is the first day from which teams can tender a pending free agent. The most likely candidates for the tag include Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, Houston Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark.

 

February 26-March 4: NFL scouting combine

The week-long showcase in Indianapolis will give coaches and front office officials a chance to shuffle their draft boards before finalising decisions ahead of April's event.

 

March 5: Franchise/transition tag deadline

The 16:00 ET deadline is the last chance to lock up a tendered player. Otherwise, the player will become a free agent.

 

March 11-13: Free Agency

The free-agent negotiation period allows teams and representatives of pending free agents to work out potential deals. Arguably the biggest player on the market is Le'Veon Bell. The Pittsburgh Steelers running back sat out all last season amid a contract holdout after receiving his second franchise tag last offseason. Other notable names include Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, Earl Thomas of the Seahawks and Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt.

 

March 13: First day of the new league year

The calendar officially flips at 16:00 ET, meaning all teams must be under the league's salary cap and decide if they are exercising 2019 options on 2018 contracts. They will also have to extend qualifying offers to their restricted free agents. The trading block is highlighted by Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

 

March 24-27: League Meetings

Owners gather in Phoenix to discuss long-term plans and debate rules changes. Last year, much of the meetings revolved around the national anthem protest. This year, expect adjustments to replay and punting to be brought up by the competition committee.

 

April 1-15: Offseason programs begin

The first workouts take place April 1, as the eight teams with new head coaches — the Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and Green Bay Packers — are given an early start. The league's remaining 24 teams can begin workouts April 15.

 

April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville

The three-day event starts with the Cardinals, who own the first overall pick. Some of the top prospects include Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa, Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen, Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins and LSU cornerback Greedy Williams.

 

May 20-22: League Meetings

See league meetings from March, only this gathering will be in Key Biscayne, Florida.

 

July 15: Franchise tag signing deadline

The 16:00 ET deadline is the last chance for teams and tendered players to reach agreements on multiyear contracts. Otherwise, the only option for playing in 2019 is under the one-year terms of the tag.

 

Aug. 1-4: Hall of Fame weekend

The festivities in Canton, Ohio, kick off with the Hall of Fame game, which will be played between teams selected by the NFL and officially open preseason play. The matchup will be followed by the induction ceremony later that weekend. The 2019 class will include first-time-eligible players Champ Bailey, Tony Gonzalez and Ed Reed.

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