If I’ve learned anything from covering the Seahawks for 34 years, it’s that the term “offseason” is a misnomer for what transpires from the end of one season to the start of the next.
In fact, one of the questions I’ve been asked the most over all these years is just what I do once the season is over. The rambling answer is always pretty much the same: “Well, there’s the NFL Scouting Combine in February. Then free agency begins in March. In April, it’s the lead up to the NFL Draft and then the selection process itself. In May, there’s a minicamp and then the start of OTA sessions. June brings the final minicamp and the end of the OTAs. Then? Well, everyone goes on vacation before the start of training camp in late July.”
Case in point: The Seahawks’ scouts were in over the weekend to begin preparing for the NFL Scouting Combine later this month.
Covering the team and the league now is quite different than it was in 1979 or even 1990, because of free agency, and the limited number of minicamps and OTAs allowed under the new CBA, and the increased interest in all of this because of the internet and social media and the 24-hour news cycle.
And because of the way the Seahawks’ 2012 season ended – with lingering feelings of unfinished business and those “We should be there” thoughts while watching the NFC Championship game and, yes, even the Super Bowl; as well as the “Just how good can these guys be next season?” anticipation – I’ve found myself wishing away the “offseason” several times already.
That, of course, won’t happen. So here’s a look at some key dates during the next six months before everything ramps back up in late July:
Monday, 4th – Waiver system begins
Monday, 18th – First day clubs can designate Franchise or Transition players
Wednesday-Tuesday, 20th-26th – NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis
Monday, 4th – Deadline to designate Franchise or Transition players
Tuesday, 12th – Free agency begins
Sunday-Wednesday, 17th-20th – Annual Owners Meeting in Phoenix
Friday, 19th – Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets
Thursday-Saturday, 25th-27th – NFL Draft
Friday-Sunday, 10th-12th – Rookie minicamp
Monday, 20th – OTA sessions begin
Tuesday-Thursday, 11th-13th – Mandatory minicamp
Friday, 14th – Conclusion of offseason program; veterans break begins
Sunday-Saturday, 23rd-29th – Rookie Symposium in Aurora, Ohio
Final weekend – Tentative date for players to report to training camp