NFL offseason dates to remember

In just a matter of weeks, the Rams roster will start getting a new look. With a roster filled with the marginally talented and wasted potential, the Rams have plenty of needs. New GM Billy Devaney and head coach Steve Spagnuolo (along with that shiny new Pro Personnel office) figure to be busy as little bees in a clover field this offseason. In fact, I can guarantee you those guys are already putting in long hours pouring over the current roster and looking at this year's crop of free agents. But let's take a step back for a minute. Already in the midst of a busy offseason, I thought it might be helpful to take a quick review of important upcoming NFL dates for 2009.

Feb. 18-24: Scouting Combine

Feb. 19: Deadline to designate franchise and transition players.

Feb. 26: Deadline for club to make qualifying offers to restricted free agents.

Feb. 27: Veteran free agency period begins; trading period begins.

April 17: Signing period for RFA ends.

April 24: Deadline for old club to exercise first right of refusal for RFAs who have been offered contracts by other teams.

April 25-26: NFL Draft

June 1: Deadline for old clubs to tender offer to unsigned unrestricted free agents to receive exclusive negotiating rights for rest of season if player is not signed by another club by July 22; deadline for old clubs to tender offer to unsigned restricted free agents or to extend qualifying offer to retain exclusive negotiating rights.

June 15: Deadline for old clubs to withdraw qualifying offer to unsigned restricted free agents and substitute offer of 110% of previous year's salary in order to retain exclusive negotiating rights.

Mid/Late July: Training camp. Date and location for Rams still TBD.

July 22: Signing period ends for UFAs who received qualifying offer.

Sep. 1: Rosters cut to 75 players.

Sep. 5: Rosters cut to 53 players.

I've got a look at the Rams crop of free agents on the defensive side of the ball coming soon. And a draft post for later in the p.m.

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