Key dates to remember during offseason

The NFL offseason is an extremely busy time characterized by flurries of activity, and dormant periods where franchises plot their next move. Below, are some key dates to refer to when following the Baltimore Ravens' progression through the offseason, a word that's fast becoming a misnomer.


Feb. 2 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, Honolulu, Hawaii (ABC)

Feb. 18-24 Scouting Combine, Indianapolis, Ind.

Coaches, scouts and other personnel evaluators analyze NFL prospects.

Feb. 20 Franchise and Transition Player Designation Date Deadline for clubs to designate franchise and transition players.

From Feb. 20 to March 14, clubs that execute a multi-year contract with their franchise players will not be deemed to have used their franchise designation for 2003.

Feb. 24 NFL Europe

NFL Europe League training camps open.

Feb. 27 Minimum Salary Offer Deadline for clubs to make minimum salary offer to retain exclusive negotiating rights for players with fewer than three years of free agency credit whose contracts have expired.

Contracts Expire Expiration date of all player contracts due to expire in 2003.

Qualifying Offer Deadline Deadline for submission of qualifying offers to restricted free agents whose contracts have expired and to whom they desire to retain a right of first refusal.

Feb. 28 Free-Agent Signings

Veteran free-agency signing period begins. Trading Period Trading period begins.

March 23-26 NFL Annual Meeting

NFL annual meeting in Phoenix, Ariz.

April 5 NFL Europe Begins

NFL Europe League season begins.

April 18 RFA Signing Deadline

Signing period ends for restricted free agents.

April 25 First-Refusal Deadline Deadline for old club to exercise right of first refusal to restricted free agents.

April 26-27 NFL Draft

Annual player selection meeting, New York.

May 20-21 Spring Meeting

NFL spring meeting, Philadelphia, Penn.

June 1 Qualifying Offers

Deadline for old club to send tender to its unsigned restricted free agents or extend qualifying offer to retain exclusive negotiating rights.

Tenders to UFAs Deadline for old club to send tender to its unsigned unrestricted free agents to receive exclusive negotiating rights for the rest of the season if player is not signed by another club by July 22.

June 8 NFL Europe Ends

NFL Europe League regular season ends.

June 14 World Bowl

World Bowl XI, Glasgow, Scotland

June 15 Qualifying Offer Withdrawals

Deadline for old clubs to withdraw original qualifying offer to unsigned restricted free agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting tender of 110 percent of previous year's salary.

July 22 Tendered UFA Signing Ends

Signing period ends at 4 p.m. ET for unrestricted free agents who received June 1 tender.

Some dates tentative and subject to change.

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