The new Cardinals braintrust is grinding through initial meetings but just like that, the Scouting combine is around the corner, and so here are a few of the key dates upcoming in the offseason:
— Feb. 20-26: Scouting combine in Indianapolis.
— March 9: Teams are allowed to begin negotiating contracts with agents for players from other teams that are scheduled to become free agents. This is a new development, with the league acknowledging talks between free agents and teams often quietly was going to happen. It will definitely spark the speculation/rumormill for players going to other teams for a couple of days before contracts can be signed.
— March 12: The new league year begins and free agency officially begins. Free agents are allowed to sign contracts. Teams must, prior to 2 p.m. Arizona time, exercise options on contracts and tender offers to restricted or exclusive rights free agents if a team is going to do so. Free agency begins at 2 p.m. All teams must be salary-cap compliant (with the top 51 cap numbers).
— March 17-20: The annual spring owners meetings will be held in Phoenix at the Biltmore.
— First week of April: Teams with new coaches — including the Cardinals — are allowed to begin their offseason program.
— April 25-27: NFL draft
The dates for the Cardinals’ OTAs and minicamps have yet to be announced. We are waiting to hear information about training camp, but the regular season will begin for the Cardinals Sept. 8. Working backward, and based on past years with the timeline, training camp should start around July 26.
Tags: free agency, offseason, training camp
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