The Saints and staff have a busy six months ahead of them to formulate a team that can get the black and gold back to another Super Bowl.
Right now, we are head through that period from the end of the Super Bowl to the beginning of the offseason. Sean Payton is already formulating what he and the Saints‘ staff are going to do this offseason to keep the team at the same level they have been for years.
Here are a couple of the offseason dates that Saints’ fans should circle on their calendar.
March 9, 2021 – Franchise/Transition Tag
Last year, this was an important date.
The Saints had talked about using the franchise tag on Taysom Hill until he signed a new contract. Then the team talked about using the tag on superstar running back Alvin Kamara, but he got a new contract as well.
In 2021, I don’t think there is a player the Saints intended on using either tag on.
March 17, 2021 – New League Year/Free Agency Opens/Salary Cap Check
There are several things that happen on March 17th. The first is the new league year opens. As opposed to running on a calendar year, the NFL runs from March 17th year to year.
The more important one is free agency opens. Technically, on March 15th teams can start interviewing and negotiating with unrestricted free agents, but they can not officially sign with anyone until at least March 17th at 4:00 p.m.
The last thing that happens isn’t an event but a deadline. When the new league year starts, all NFL teams must be under the cap limit. That means the Saints need to shave at least $60-70 million somewhere between now and then.
April 19, 2021 – Start of Offseason Workouts
This is the date that teams with incumbent head coaches can start offseason workouts. Teams with new head coaches get to start at an earlier date, but Sean Payton isn’t going anywhere which means the Saints’ workouts start on April 19.
April 29 – May 1, 2021 – NFL Draft
The last thing that happens before training camps is the NFL Draft. The New Orleans Saints currently have three picks with a handful of compensatory picks on the way as well. Payton and staff always use this to the best of their ability so no worries here.