With Super Bowl XLVIII in the books, the offseason officially begins around the NFL. Here’s a rundown of the important dates to circle on your calendar, Redskins fans:
Feb. 3—Waiver system begins for 2014.
Feb. 17—First day teams can use ‘franchise’ or ‘transition’ tags. (Might the Redskins use the franchise tag on Brian Orakpo?)
Feb. 19-25—Annual scouting combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
March 3—Deadline to use ‘franchise’ or ‘transition’ tag.
March 8—Teams can begin negotiating with agents of pending unrestricted free agents at 4 p.m. But a contract cannot be signed with a new team until March 11 at 4 p.m.
March 11—All 2013 player contracts expire at 4 p.m. and free agency and the trading period begins.
March 11—Teams must exercise contract options by 4 p.m.
March 11—Teams must submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents by 4 p.m. in order to retain right of first refusal and compensation.
March 11—'Top-51' begins as all clubs must be under the 2014 salary cap by 4 p.m.
March 23-26—League meetings in Orlando.
April 7—Teams that hired a new head coach after the 2013 season can begin offseason programs. This, of course, applies to Jay Gruden and the Redskins.
April 21—Teams with a returning head coach can begin offeason programs.
May—2 Deadline for RFAs to sign offer sheets.
May 8-10—NFL draft in New York. The Redskins have picks in rounds 2-7.
May 19—League spring meeting in Atlanta.
June 22-28—Rookie symposium in Aurora, Ohio.
July 15—Deadline for teams that used the franchise tag to sign that player to a multi-year contract. After this date, the player can only sign a one-year contract.
Mid-July—Teams can open preseason training camp for rookies and first year players.
Late July—Redskins open training camp in Richmond. Dates and times have not been announced.
Early Aug.—Preseason begins.
Sept. 4, 7-8—Regular season begins.