There's plenty of key dates to circle on your calendar as we look ahead to April 25th when NFL Commigliere (=Commissioner + consigliere) Roger Goodell takes the stage in New York to open the 2013 NFL Draft.
I'm not listing out the individual regional combines, but feel free to load those into your calendar files as well.
18: Clubs can franchise or transition tag players starting today. Should start spinning the wheels on Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola Monday.
20-26: National Scouting Combine. We might write something about it. We might not.
4: Deadline to franchise or transition tag players. To me, what's always interesting isn't which players get tagged. It's which players don't.
12: 2013 NFL year officially begins at 4pm, ET. What does this mean?
- Free agency and trade window opens
- Deadline to exercise all contract options
- Deadline for teams to offer minimum offer to retain negotiating rights with expiring 2012 contracts with less than four years experience
- All contracts set to expire at the end of 2012 season...uh, expire
It means we're a go for the 2013 NFL season.
12-20: NFL Owners Meeting. They'll discuss rule changes, compensatory picks for the 2013 NFL Draft and all kinds of other stuff. Pretty sure they talk about how to do global warmings.
7-8: Super Regional Combine in Dallas, Tx. Similar to the combine you actually watch. This event is now covered by the NFL Network and NFL.com, and for good reason. Last year, more than a quarter of the participants got an NFL contract. Last year, Greg Zuerlein was booting field goals and kickoffs at the Super Regional. It's not the National Combine, but it's not a useless event.
19: Deadline for RFAs to sign offers
25-27: The 2013 NFL Draft. This Is Where the Dream Begins!™ Wait, no... Today's the First Day...™ that's just untrue. The Road to the Super Bowl Starts Here™. VICTORY!
I'll put the post-draft calendar up in early May. Until then, here are your benchmark dates moving forward.