The Super Bowl is over and now out attention turns toward the offseason schedule. The Philadelpihia Eagles have some work to do if they plan to catch the Super Bowl Champion (ugh) New York Giants, so here is a list of important dates to mark on your offseason calendar.
February 20: Franchise Tag can be applied.
Starting on the 20th of February, NFL teams can apply the franchise tag to any big name free agents they want to secure for next season. For the Eagles, the only player who may receive the tag would be WR DeSean Jackson. But don’t expect it to happen on the 20th, if at all. It’s also possible the Eagles workout a deal with Jackson, or simply let him walk.
February 22-28: NFL Combine
The NFL Combine will officially kick off draft season. There will be live coverage of the workouts on NFL.com and NFL Network. This will be the first time that we may see major shifts in the expected draft order. An impressive performance at the combine can help a player rocket up draft boards just as a poor performance (or a failed drug test, see Houston, Justin) can knock a player down a few rounds. NFL GM’s will talk all week about how numbers aren’t everything but believe me, they’re something.
March 5: Deadline to apply Franchise Tag
This will be judgment day on the future of DeSean Jackson. If the Eagles fail to franchise Jackson, or sign the free agent, he will be free to walk when unrestricted free agency begins.
March 13: Free agency begins at 4 PM
Along with the draft, the start of free agency is like a football holiday. Then again, expect the Eagles to take a more conservative approach in free agency this season. I don’t expect the plethora of big-name signings we say last year. But a linebacker would sure be nice (or Vincent Jackson/Dwayne Bowe).
March 25-28: NFL owners meetings
The NFL owners get together in Florida to sip on sugary cocktails and talk about how rich they are. Big topic of discussion this year will be the new owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars and his porn stache.
Mid-April: Teams begin offseason programs
The Eagles will get back together at NovaCare and officially kick off year 14 under Andy Reid. Cool.
April 26-28: The NFL Draft begins in NYC
The NFL Draft will kick off on April 26th. It’s a great time for Eagles fans because we can watch them draft mediocre talents like Brandon Graham, while passing up game-changing players like Jason Pierre-Paul.
Late July: Training Camps begin
May, June and most of July are dark times for an NFL fan. But then, late in the month, training camp coverage begins. ITI will unleash it’s army of loyal training camp attendees to get you all the coverage you could as for.
Early August: Preseason begins
I don’t care what anyone says, preseason matters. The scores of the games don’t matter but I assure you, if your team looks like a shit show in August, they probably aren’t going to look too great come September.
September 6: Season opener
The Giants will host the season opener in New Jersey.