Editor's Note: Please welcome Andrew Ross, who will be working with Colts Authority in the coming offseason. For his first work for us, Andrew put together all of the key dates for the 2014 offseason (those of which are currently available, anyway). So use this as your guide to all of the NFL's biggest deadlines and events this offseason. And welcome Andrew, both here and on Twitter, to the Colts Authority community. – KJR
The 2013 NFL season is already over for 30 teams; only the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks remain. Some fans stay trapped in the misery of a disappointing season – especially one that ends abruptly – but fans of the Indianapolis Colts should show no such sorrow. The Colts are one of the most promising up-and-coming teams in the league, and the future is fun to look forward to. So, yes, the 2013 season is over, but the 2014 season will be here shortly. Now is the time to start looking ahead to the first moves of the new season.
February 3: Waiver system begins for 2014
February 17: First day to name Franchise and Transition Players
February 19-25: Combine timing and testing held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana
March 3: Before 4:00 p.m. EST, last day to name Franchise or Transition Players
March 8-11: Teams are allowed to contact and enter contract negotiations with the agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents on March 11
March 11: Before 4:00 p.m. EST, teams must exercise options for 2014 on all players who have option clauses in their 2013 contracts.
March 11: Before 4:00 p.m. EST, teams must submit Qualifying Offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts and to whom they desire to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
March 11: Teams must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2013 contracts and who have fewer than three Accrued Seasons of free agency credit.
March 11: All teams must be under the 2014 Salary Cap prior to 4:00 p.m. EST.
March 11: All 2013 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m. EST
March 11: The 2014 League Year and Free Agency period officially begin at 4:00 p.m. EST.
-Spotrac’s list of the Colts’ Free Agents: 24 total, 17 Unrestricted Free Agents, five Restricted Free Agents and two Exclusive Rights Free Agents.
March 11: After expiration of all 2013 contracts, the 2014 trading period will begin at 4:00 p.m. EST.
March 23-26: Annual Meeting at Orlando, Florida.
April 7: Teams that hired a new Head Coach after the end of the 2013 regular season may start offseason workout programs.
April 21: Teams with returning Head Coaches may begin offseason workout programs
May 2: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.
May 7: Deadline for prior team to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.
May 8-10: 2014 NFL Draft held at New York City, New York.
-Due to past trades, the Colts only have four picks in the draft: a second, third, fifth (or sixth, depending on the terms for Josh Gordy's trade) and seventh.
May 19-21: NFL Spring League Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
June 22-28: Rookie Symposium in Aurora, Ohio.
July 15: 4:00 p.m. EST deadline for any team that designated a Franchise Player to sign such a player to a multi-year contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior team for the 2014 season, and the contract cannot be extended until after the team’s last regular season game.
Mid-July: Teams are allowed to open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players beginning seven days prior to the team’s earlier mandatory date for veteran players. Veteran players – other than quarterbacks and injured players – may report to a team’s preseason training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the team’s first preseason game. Veteran quarterbacks and injured players may be required to the team’s preseason training camp no earlier than five days prior to the mandatory reporting date for all other veteran players.
July 22: Signing period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders.