Important NFL offseason dates

By: Thomas Gibbons

The NFL offseason is upon us. After the Eagles and Nick Foles took down Tom Brady in Super Bowl 52, the focus shifts to the offseason which, as always, will be very busy.

Thomas Gibbons takes a look at the key offseason dates and their impacts on the Chicago Bears. 

February 20th- The first day for teams to designate the franchise or transition tag.

The Bears have only one candidate that would make sense for the tag and it’s Kyle Fuller. After a bounce-back season, Fuller is due for a big contract this offseason. Last season, the guaranteed one-year deal for a cornerback was $14.2 million. Big price tag. The Bears should make Fuller one of their top priorities and lock him up.

February 27th to March 5th- The NFL combine in Indianapolis.

One of the biggest events of the offseason arrives in late February where executives, coaches, and scouts evaluate and talk with NFL prospects. Also, Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy will meet the media during this time.

March 6th– Deadline for NFL clubs to designated a franchise or transition player.

March 12th to March 14th- The NFL’s legal tampering window. ” Clubs are permitted to contact and negotiate with agents for players whose contracts expire at 3 p.m. on March 14. A contract cannot be executed with a new club until 3 p.m. on March 14, and a club cannot directly contact a player from another team.” (Chicago Tribune writer Rich Campbell).

March 14th- The new league year begins.  Free agency and the trading period begin. Oh happy days!

March 25th to March 28th- NFL owners meeting’s in Orlando. Nagy is expected to address the media on the 28th at the NFC coaches breakfast. Pace and George McCaskey may also speak with reporters during their time in Orlando.

Mid to late April- The NFL schedule is announced. In 2017, the schedule came out on April 20th.

April 20th- Deadline for restricted free agents to sign an offer sheet with another team. The Bears restricted  free agents include: Cameron Meredith, Daniel Brown, and John Timu.

April 26th to April 28th- The 2018 NFL Draft. Christmas in April as many call it. The Bears hold the 8th overall pick and have a total of seven picks.

July 16th- 3 p.m. deadline for a franchise or transition-tagged player to sign a multi-year contract extension.

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