Baltimore Ravens: Key Offseason Dates for 2016 NFL Season

The Baltimore Ravens have a busy offseason ahead. Here are the important dates to remember leading up to the 2016 NFL season.

There is no real offseason in the National Football League.

Sure, the players might not play games for another seven months, but there is still plenty going on around the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens have a long to-do list to take care of this offseason, and before you know it the 2016 season will be here.

This is the time of the year that does not get enough credit. There are players to scout throughout the country, both collegiately and professionally. Contracts must be worked out to fit into the current salary cap. The players are training for the upcoming season. Coaches trying to figure out what adjustments they can make to get better. And for the media, there is the combine, draft, offseason workouts and so much more to cover before the Ravens take the football field once again.

There is always something that draws us into the game. That’s why the NFL is as popular as it is.

Yesterday, I touched on some key things the Ravens must address this offseason. Today, I’ll give you the dates in which it all will take place.

There are three parts of the offseason that usually grab the fan’s attention most: the NFL Combine, free agency and the NFL Draft. These days are obviously very important, but there are plenty of other key dates to keep an eye on. Here is a rundown of what’s to come this offseason: 

Feb. 16
First day for teams to apply the franchise tag or transition tag on pending free agents. Here is the list of Ravens that are pending free agents.

Feb. 23-29

NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Ind. – This is the period in which Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta earn their money.

Feb. 27

NFL Regional Combine in Owings Mills, Md. – The Under Armour Performance Center will host position players eligible for the 2016 draft. It’s purpose is to serve as a supplement to the NFL Combine, with smaller groups being evaluated for all 32 teams.

March 1

Teams must apply the franchise tag or transition tag by 4 p.m or pending free agents will be eligible for free agency.

March 7-9

The “legal tampering” period of free agency begins. Teams are allowed to enter contract negotiations with pending free agents from other teams. Negotiations are allowed, but no contracts can be signed during this time.

March 9

Free agency begins at 4 p.m. at the start of the new league year. Teams must submit qualifying offers to restricted free agents before free agency begins. Here is five free agents that we feel would fit with the Ravens. 

March 20-23

NFL Owner’s Meetings in Boca Raton, Fla.

April 18

Team can begin offseason workout programs

April 22

Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets. Kamar Aiken is likely to be a name to keep an eye on around this time.

Mid April

NFL schedule is released. The Ravens know their opponents for 2016: the AFC North opponents twice, the four teams in the AFC East and NFC East, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Oakland Raiders.

April 28-30

NFL Draft in Chicago, Ill. Ravens own the 6th, 36th, 70th, 101st, 127th, and 164th picks in the draft. They will likely be awarded compensatory picks as well.

May 6-9 or May 13-16

Team may hold a three-day rookie minicamp on either of these weekends.

May 23-25 

NFL Spring League Meeting in Charlotte, N.C. 

June 19-25

Rookie Symposium in Aurora, Ohio

July 15

Deadline for teams who used the franchise tag to sign that player to a long-term contract extension. If no agreement is reached, the player will remain under the franchise tag salary for the duration of the 2016 season.

Late July

Training camp begins

Aug. 7

Pro Football Hall of Fame Game – Preseason begins

Sept. 8

NFL season begins

That’s a lot of dates to remember, but we will be here to keep you updated throughout the way. Football season never ends at The Baltimore Wire.

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