Important dates to know for the 2018 NFL offseason.
Here is a list of key dates that we at Only 1 Nation earmark as important dates to know from now until the NFL Draft.
January 1 – Teams can sign their own 2018 Free Agents
Allows teams to sign high-valued free agents before they hit the open market.
January 15 – Deadline for underclassmen to declare for NFL Draft
It solidifies the final pool of players that GM’s and talent evaluators need to scout and grade so they can assemble their big board.
January 27 – Senior Bowl
The Senior Bowl consistently gathers a group of some of the best seniors in the nation and allows for coaches to evaluate these players in various one-on-one and game-like situations against elite competition. The Senior Bowl is a great venue for smaller school players to elevate their stock.
February 20 to March 6 – Franchise + Transition Tag
First day that teams are allowed to tag players on their team with either the franchise tag or the transition tag. This is not as important for the Raiders because there aren’t any likely candidates to get franchised.
February 27 to March 5 – NFL Scouting Combine
The majority of the top NFL draft prospects get measured on height, weight, hand size, arm length and are tested in various athletic measurement drills. Allows NFL personnel folks to interact with prospects and understand their physical and mental aptitude.
March 12 to March 14 – Free Agent “Discussion” Period
Often times contract terms are agreed to in this legal tampering period. This is the unofficial start to Free Agency.
March 14 – Team Option Decisions
Teams can make a decision on whether to keep or let go of players with team options for 2018. Example: Michael Crabtree.
March 14 – Qualifying Offers to RFAs
Teams can define how much they value their restricted free agents by placing a first round, second round, original round/late round tender or right of first refusal which defines how much they are willing to pay and how much team is willing to give up to sign the RFA.
March 14 – Tender Exclusive Rights FAs
Teams can tender exclusive rights free agents and officially put them back on their roster.
March 14 – Free Agency + Trading Period Begins
The second most important way to build a roster.
March 25 to March 28 – Annual League Meetings
Most pressing NFL topics, rules and trends are discussed between league executives and owners. One particular topic Raiders fans may want discussed is a more sophisticated forward progress measurement system.
April 2 – Team with new coaches start offseason programs
First time for Jon Gruden and Paul Guenther to “officially” start implementing their new system with players that are under contract.
April 26 to April 28 – 2018 NFL Draft
The single most important way to improve your team’s roster.
April 28 – Undrafted Free Agents
Teams can negotiate and sign undrafted free agents. An area Reggie McKenzie has enjoyed quite a bit of success.