Even though the 2014 regular season schedule has not been released, there are several circle-worthy dates on the NFL calendar already. With the offseason getting into full swing, here are a few of them to keep an eye on between now and the annual NFL Spring League Meeting at the end of May. There are important dates during and after this time not mentioned here, but below are the landmark events that will capture the attention of fans over the next several months.
Senior Bowl – January 19-25
Some of the nation’s top seniors gather in Mobile, Alabama for a week of practices in front of NFL coaches and scouts and it all culminates in a game at the end of the week – the Senior Bowl. With the number of underclassmen who declare for the draft continuing to rise annually, the Senior Bowl has become a great opportunity for players who’ve exhausted their college eligibility to get in front of NFL teams for a close examination.
Pro Bowl – January 26 The NFL’s all-stars, including Cordarrelle Patterson and Adrian Peterson from the Vikings, gather in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl.
NFL Scouting Combine – February 19-25
NFL teams and the nation’s top 300-or-so pro prospects descend upon Indianapolis, Indiana each February for the annual Scouting Combine . At this event, NFL teams pick and prod at prospects to continued detailing their evaluation of the entire draft class. The Combine is just one part – an important part - of a long evaluation process, and it’s also one of the most popular NFL events of the year as millions of viewers tune in to see the next generation of stars.
New League Year Begins – March 11
The 2014 League Year, Free Agency and Trading Period period begin at 3:00 p.m. CT, after expiration of all 2013 contracts.
Vikings Offseason Program Begins (Tentative) – April 7
Teams that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2013 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
Offseason Programs Begin – April 21
Clubs with returning Head Coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
2014 NFL Draft – May 8-10
An event that needs no introduction, to be held in New York City.
NFL Spring League Meeting – May 19-21
NFL owners meet regularly throughout the year, but often times rules adjustments/changes are made at the annual spring meeting. This year’s meetings will be held in Georgia.