After a spectacular end to Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona Sunday night, the 2014 NFL season has officially come to a close. That means the 2015 offseason is underway, so here are some important dates for the New Orleans Saints and other organizations to look forward to.
– First day for teams to designate franchise or transition players.
– NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, IN.
– Deadline for teams to designate franchise or transition players hits at 4:00 PM EST.
– Teams are permitted to contact and begin contract negotiations with certified unrestricted free agents, no deals can be finalized until 4:00 PM EST on March 10.
– Prior to 4:00 PM EST, teams must exercise options for 2015 on all players who have option clauses in their contracts.
– Prior to 4:00 PM EST, teams must submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents with expiring contracts and to whom they desire to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
– Prior to 4:00 PM EST, teams must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2014 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued season of free agency credit.
– Top-51 begins — all teams must be under the 2015 salary cap before the 4:00 PM EST deadline.
– The 2015 league year and free agency period officially begin at 4:00 PM EST.
– NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ.
– Teams that hired a new head coach after the end of 2014 may begin offseason workout programs.
– Teams with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
– Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.
April 30-May 2:
– NFL Draft in Chicago, IL.
– First weekend after NFL Draft where teams may choose to hold their three-day post-draft rookie minicamp from Friday-Sunday or Saturday-Monday.
– Second weekend after NFL Draft where teams may again choose to hold their three-day post-draft rookie minicamp from Friday-Sunday or Saturday-Monday.
– NFL Spring League Meeting in San Francisco, CA.
– Rookie Symposium in Aurora, OH.
– 4:00 PM EST — deadline for any team that designated a franchise player to sign such player to a multi-year contract extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior team for the 2015 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the team’s final regular season game.
– Training camp usually begins in late July, but the dates have not been released yet.
– Hall of Fame Weekend
– Preseason Week 1
– Preseason Week 2
– Preseason Week 3
– Preseason Week 4
– NFL Kickoff
– NFL Opening Weekend
The NFL season never really ends, and the New Orleans Saints have a good bit of work to do to get back on track in 2015. After finishing 7-9 and missing out on the playoffs, head coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and the rest of the coaching staff and front offices should be quite busy this offseason.
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