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Key offseason dates for Browns' fans to know

Posted Feb 10, 2014

The 2014 NFL offseason has begun, and with it comes key dates for the opportunity of teams to assess and acquire rookies, as well as for the movement of veteran players.

The NFL Scouting Combine begins February 19th - 25th with the 2014 NFL draft scheduled for May 8th - 10th.


The 2014 NFL offseason has begun, and with it comes key dates for the opportunity of teams to assess and acquire rookies, as well as for the movement of veteran players.

With so much at stake for the Browns in the coming months, the following is a guide that outlines the when and where of activity that will help shape their roster.

On Feb. 3, the day after Super Bowl XXVIII, the league’s waiver system began.

Other important NFL offseason dates follow:

Feb. 17
First day for clubs to place franchise or transition tags on their own free agents.
 
Feb. 19-25
NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis.

March 3
Prior to 4 p.m. ET, deadline for clubs to place franchise or transition tags on their own free agents.

March 8
Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2013 player contracts at 4 p.m. ET, on March 11. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4 p.m. ET, on March 11.

March 11
Prior to 4 p.m. ET, clubs must exercise options for 2014 on all players with option clauses in their 2013 contracts.

March 11
>Prior to 4 p.m. ET, clubs 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 p.m. ET, clubs must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2013 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.

>Prior to 4 p.m. ET, all clubs must be under the 2014 salary cap.

>4 p.m. ET, the 2014 free-agency and trading periods begin.
 
March 23-26
Annual league meeting, Orlando, Fla.

April 7
Clubs, such as the Browns, that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2013 regular season can begin offseason workout programs.

April 21
Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

May 2
Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.
 
May 7
Deadline for prior club to exercise right-of-first-refusal to restricted free agents.

May 8-10
2014 NFL Draft, New York City.
 
May 19-21
NFL Spring League Meeting, Atlanta.

June 2
>Deadline for prior club to send “June 1 Tender” to its unsigned unrestricted free agents. If the player has not signed a player contract with a club by July 22 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later, he may negotiate or sign a player contract from that date until the Tuesday, following the 10th weekend of the regular season, at 4 p.m. ET, only with his prior club.
 
>Deadline for prior club to send “June 1 Tender” to its unsigned restricted free agents who received a qualifying offer for a right-of-first-refusal only in order for such player to be subject to the collective bargaining agreement’s “June 15 Tender” provision.

June 16
Deadline for club to withdraw qualifying offer to restricted free agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting “June 15 Tender” of one-year contract at 110 percent of the player’s prior-year Paragraph 5 Salary (with all other terms of his prior-year contract carried forward unchanged).

June 22-28
Rookie Symposium, Aurora, Ohio, with NFL Play 60 events with AFC and NFC draft choices at Browns’ training facility in Berea.

July 15
At 4 p.m. ET, deadline for any club that designated a franchise player to sign such player to a multi-year contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his Prior Club for the 2014 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the Club’s last regular-season game.

Mid-July
>Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players beginning seven days prior to the club’s earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for veteran players.

>Veteran players (defined as a player with at least one pension-credited season) other than quarterbacks or “injured players” (as defined in CBA Article 21, Section 6) may report to a club’s preseason training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the club’s first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.

>Veteran quarterbacks and injured players may be required to report to the club’s preseason training camp no earlier than five days immediately prior to the mandatory reporting date for all other veteran players, provided the club has already opened (or simultaneously opens) its official preseason training camp for all rookies and first-year players.

>A three-day acclimation period will apply to players who are on a club’s roster up to and including the mandatory veteran reporting date. Players who join the roster after that date may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical.

July 22
>Signing period ends for unrestricted free agents to whom a “June 1 Tender” was made by prior club. After this date and until 4 p.m. ET, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights, or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later.

>Signing period ends for transition players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 4 p.m. ET, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci or by e-mail at daily@clevelandbrowns.com or by calling 855-363-2459.