Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
The St. Louis Rams need to have another stellar off-season if they want to make a playoff push next season.
With four teams battling for the NFL's highest prize, the remainder of the NFL looks to the NFL Draft, free agency, all-star games and the combine. The Rams won't play meaningful football again until September 5th. Here is a list of important off-season dates:
January 15th - Today is the deadline for underclassmen to petition for special eligibility for the NFL Draft. Underclassmen who have already declared early can recant up until Friday. As of today, 75 underclassmen have declared.
January 19th - East-West Shrine Game. The game is to played at 4pm ET. Players playing in the Shrine game are not top-level prospects, but are players who have potential and are looking to show it in order to improve their draft stock.
January 20th - AFC and NFC Championship Games.
January 26th - Senior Bowl. The Senior bowls level of talent is higher than the Shrine game and contains several names Rams fans should keep their eyes on. Some potential Ram prospects include Montee Ball, Cobi Hamilton,Quinton Patton, Markus Wheaton, Travis Kelce, Phillip Lutzenkirchen, Oday Aboushi, Eric Fisher, Lane Johnson, Arthur Brown, Zaviar Gooden and the entire safety group.
January 27th - AFC-NFC Pro Bowl - ZzzzZZZZzzzzZZZZZzzzzz
February 3rd - Super Bowl XLVII.
February 20-26 - NFL Combine. One of the most contested days in the NFL. Does a 40 matter? If yes, why? Football tape isn't enough?…Whichever way you lean, the Combine is must see TV.
March 9-11 - Clubs are allowed to enter into negotiations with agents of players who will be UFA's at the end of the current league year.
March 12th - All 2012 player contracts will expire at 4PM, ET. - The 2013 league year and free agency period also begin at 4PM. Trading also begins at 4PM.
March 17th - Annual League Meeting
April 25-27 - NFL Draft. Radio City will be buzzing as this years class gets ready to find out which team in which city they will be playing for. Can't wait. Here are some mock drafts the writers here at TST have projected:
September 5, 8-9 - NFL Kickoff 2013