Off Season can make or break a team

That make it or break it time is between the months of February to June 1st. In those six months you have, the NFL combine in Indianapolis( (Feb 18-24th ), franchise, transition tags and waiver period begins (Feb 20th ), final tender offers( Feb 27th ), free agency begins and trading begins(Feb 28th ), Owners meet in Phoenix March 23-26th , NFL Draft( April 26th –27th ) Cut Day ( June 1st ) and Free Agency ends(July 22nd).

Feb. 18th-24th NFL Combine

 Almost every draftable player attends the combine although the top, sure thing players don't necessary work out for the tons of scouts and coaches attending the combine to get one last look at the players before the draft. The top flight players will save themselves for individual workouts. Coaches and scouts who attend the combine are looking at players physical and mental state.

Feb. 20: Franchise and transition tags

 This is the official date that teams put the franchise or transition tag on a player. Look to see if Walter Jones will be the Hawks designated franchise player. The franchise tag gives a player a tender offer equal to the average of the top-five salaries at the position from last year. It costs two first-rounders to lure a franchise player away from a team. The transition designation only allows a team to match an offer from another team, but the price is the average of the top 10 salaries. A rule change enacted last year allows teams to sign their tagged players to long-term deals by the middle of the next month without losing the chance to tag players for the length of the contract. If a deal can't be reached, a long-term deal can't be executed until after July 15.

Feb. 20: Waiver system begins

 This marks the date that teams begin to clean out their rosters of high priced players that are keeping them over the project $75 million dollar cap. The Seahawks are $18.4 million dollars under the cap.

 Feb. 27: Final tender offers

 This is the final day that teams have to submit their tenders to restricted and exclusive-rights free agents.

 Feb. 28 : Free agency begins

Teams can begin to contact free agents at 12:01 a.m. on Feb 28.This year there are more than 330 unrestricted free agents. About 150 of the 330 players can be signed for the veteran free agent salary of $450,000. It will be interesting to see if the Seahawks test the free agency waters.

 Feb. 28: Trading period begins Teams can trade players.

One catch for teams that want to pick up a player is, if that player has a significant amount of money owed to him from a signing bonus the team trading for the player will be charged the remaining money to their salary cap. Buyer beware.

March 23-26: Owners meeting

Look for instant replay and helmet to helmet hits to be the main topics of discussion. The owners agreed that instant replay would have a three year life span so the most that can be done is minor changes to the existing system.

April 26-27: NFL

 draft Defensive lineman, middle linebacker, trade down or up? Baton down the hatches Seahawk fans there is a storm a brewing.

 June 1: Cut Day

Last day for teams to unload any dead weight. This is the day that teams can cut a player and not take all of the cap hit this season.

July 22 : Free agency ends

 This the last day that an unsigned player who is tied to a team has to worry about negotiating only with that team. Top Stories