SEATTLE – Now that this year’s Super Bowl is over, we can turn our attention to what really matters: The Seattle Seahawks’ quest to make it to next year’s Super Bowl.
As soon as the regular season was in the books, the Seahawks signaled that it would be an offseason of upheaval and quickly followed through with massive changes on their coaching staff.
Here are some key dates to look for as John Schneider and Pete Carroll try to reshape the team for another Super Bowl run. Some of the dates haven’t been solidified yet.
February 20: This is the first day for teams to designate “franchise” or “transition” players. The deadline is March 6. The Seahawks haven’t used either tag in seven seasons, last doing so in 2010 with kicker Olindo Mare.
February 27-March 5: The NFL Combine, where the Seahawks will get to take a long, hard look at potential draft picks. There are also usually some newsy interviews with Carroll and Schneider during this week.
March 12: Teams can begin talking to unrestricted free agents.
March 14: All heck breaks loose at the start of the “league year.” Teams can begin signing new free agents. It’s also the deadline to exercise options for players who have options in their contract, the deadline to be under the salary cap, and the deadline for several other minor contractual procedures.
March 25-28: The annual league meeting in Orlando.
April 16: The Seahawks can begin their offseason workout program.
Sometime around here: The NFL usually releases its schedule around now. Last year, it was on April 20. The year before that, it was on April 14. The preseason schedule is typically released a week or so prior.
April 26-28: The NFL draft. The Seahawks, you’ll remember, have the No. 18 overall pick.
May 4-7 OR May 11-14: The Seahawk can pick either of these weekends to hold their rookie minicamp.
Late July/Early August: Training camp begins.
Sept. 6: The first NFL game of the regular season.