Looking Ahead: Important offseason dates to keep an eye on in 2019

It’s time to officially bid farewell to the 2018 NFL season, as Super Bowl LIII concluded Sunday with a New England Patriots 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, thus giving Tom Brady his sixth Super Bowl ring – crazy.

For many, it’ll be nice to put the 2018 season in the rearview mirror and turn their attention toward what’s to come. It might be the offseason, but that doesn’t mean things slow down completely. In just a few weeks the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine will be in full effect, and it’ll generate plenty of buzz ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft.

The Oakland Raiders have three first-round picks, and as we’ve seen from the Mock Draft Tracker there will be plenty of talented players to choose from. Before we get too excited and gaze too far down the road, let’s take a look at some important upcoming dates on the horizon.

February 19 - First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

February 26-March 4 - Combine Timing and Testing, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.

March 5 - Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

March 11-13 During the period beginning at 12 noon, New York time, on March 11th and ending at 3:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 13th, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2018 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 13.

However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 13.

During the above two-day negotiating period, a prospective unrestricted free agent who is not represented by an NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor is permitted to communicate directly with a new club’s front office officials (excluding the head coach and other members of the club’s coaching staff) regarding contract negotiations.

March 13 - The 2019 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

The first day of the 2019 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 13. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 13.

March 24-27 - Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona.

April 1 - Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2018 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.

April 15 - Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

April 19 - Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.

April 25-27 - NFL Draft, Nashville, Tennessee.

There’s a lot of time between now and late April, but it’ll be here before you know it.

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