What Off Season?

What Off Season?

The Kansas City Chiefs are the Super Bowl LIV champions. Even as the final scraps of red and gold confetti are swept away after the downtown parade at Union Station, football fans across the country are coming to grips with a painful reality: Football season is over.

For football fans, life without football can bring anxiety, aches, agitation and a deep sense of loss. For a similar effect, try taking a smart phone away from a teenager.

But here’s some happy news. In these days, football never really goes away. The NFL, for example, has things going on throughout the year, even when there are no games. So whatever team you root for, you have something to look forward to in the weeks ahead. Here are some important dates to remember:

FEBRUARY 11: Starting at noon EST, NFL teams will be able to sign Canadian Football League players whose contracts have expired. Former CFL players who went on to enjoy great success in the NFL include Warren Moon, Joe Horn, Cameron Wake and Joe Theismann.

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2: Top NFL Draft prospects get to show off their skills and “measurables” at the NFL Scouting Combine, held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Former Hawaii QB Cole McDonald has received an invitation to take part in the event. The QBs workout is tentatively set for Thursday, Feb. 27.

FEBRUARY 25: This is the first day that NFL teams can designate Franchise or Transition players.

MARCH 10: Final day for NFL teams to designate Franchise or Transition players.

MARCH 18: NFL teams must exercise 2020 options for all players who have option clauses in their 2019 contracts. Also, all teams must be under the 2020 salary cap prior to 4:00 p.m. EST. The 2020 league year and free agency period starts at that time.

MARCH 16-18: Contract negotiations period. NFL teams can enter into contract talks with unrestricted free agents.

MARCH 29-APRIL 1: Annual league meeting in Palm Beach, Florida.

APRIL 6: Teams that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2019 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.

APRIL 17: Deadline for teams to sign restricted free agents to offer sheets.

APRIL 20: Teams with returning head coaches may start offseason workout programs.

APRIL 23-25: 2020 NFL Draft in Las Vegas.

APRIL 27: Start date for NFL teams to be able to visit with, try out or sign any player under contract with an XFL team.

MAY 1-4 or May 8-11: NFL teams may elect to hold a three-day rookie minicamp.

May 11: Rookie development workshops.

May 19-20: League spring meeting in Marina Del Ray, California.

June 1: Deadline for teams to send “June 1 Tender” to their unsigned restricted free agents who received a right of first refusal.

July 15: Deadline for teams who designated a “Franchise Player” to sign that player to a multiyear contract extension. After this date, the player may only sign a one-year contract with that club for the 2020 season. Also, teams are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies (beginning seven days prior to the team’s earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for veteran players).

August 6: Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.

August 6-9: Hall of Fame Weekend in Canton, Ohio.

August 11: Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an accrued season for free agency.

September 5: All NFL teams must reduce their rosters to a maximum 53 players.

September 6: NFL teams may establish their 10-player practice squads.

September 10: NFL season opener.