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2019 NFL offseason calendar: Important dates for the Detroit Lions

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A look at all of the important dates for the Detroit Lions offseason.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2018 NFL season now a week in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to look forward into the offseason abyss. It’s not all bad news, however. The NFL, more so than any other professional sports league, knows how to sell their offseason to a point where the eight-month gap between games doesn’t even seem that long.

This feels like a particularly important offseason for the Detroit Lions. After a big step back in 2018, head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn are running out of time to win over the Lions fanbase. And with some of their better players (Darius Slay, Matthew Stafford, Damon Harrison Sr.) getting older, the time is now for the Lions to make a move. The next three months are absolutely key for Detroit to become competitive again.

So to help you navigate through the next important dates and events in the NFL calendar, here is our offseason guide.

February

12: CFL signing day

At noon ET, NFL teams are free to sign any CFL players whose contracts have expired in 2019.

19: Franchise Tag opens

Starting on Feb. 19, teams can designate players with a franchise or transition tag.

26 - March 4: NFL Scouting Combine

The biggest event remaining before the NFL Draft in April, the NFL Combine has become a huge spectacle. Some of the best talent the 2019 NFL Draft will have to offer (see a list of the 338 invitees here) will travel down to Indianapolis to show off their athletic traits and work on drills in front of representatives for all 32 teams.

March

5: Franchise Tag deadline

If a team plans on using the franchise tag, it must be designated by March 5 at 4 p.m. ET.

11-13: Free agency tampering period

Teams will be able to negotiate with agents (not the players themselves) of players that will be unrestricted free agents

13: Restricted free agency tender deadline

By 4 p.m. ET, teams must offer restricted free agency tenders to their own players, or they will become unrestricted free agents.

13: FREE AGENCY

Starting at 4 p.m. ET, teams may official sign any players that have become unrestricted free agents.

17: Stafford roster bonus

Matthew Stafford is due a fully guaranteed $5.5 million roster bonus.

24-27: League meetings

April

15: Offseason workouts

Teams may begin offseason workouts with strict limitations on what kind of activities are allowed. (Teams with new head coaches can start on April 1.)

Mid-month: NFL schedule released

There’s no official date yet, but previous schedule releases happened on the 19th, 20th, 14th, 21st, 23rd and 18th.

19: Restricted free agent deadline

RFAs with offer sheets must sign the tender by April 19.

25-27: NFL DRAFT

May

Rookie minicamp

Teams can select from three different dates to hold their three-day rookie minicamp: May 3-5, May 4-6 or May 10-13.

May 20: Spring league meetings

June

Late May/early June: Organized Team Meetings (OTAs)

Starting sometime in late May, teams are permitted to have three sets of OTAs—10 days total. Practices are non-contract, but resemble more traditional practices (seven-on-sevens, 11-on-11s).

July

15: Franchise tag deadline

Teams have until July 15 to sign a franchise tagged player to a long-term deal. If a contract is not signed, the player must either sign the franchise tag or sit out the season.

Mid/Late July: TRAINING CAMP

August

1: Hall of Fame Game

All month: Preseason

31: Roster cut-down day

By 4 p.m. ET, all 32 teams must be down to a 53-man roster.

September

8-9: Week 1 of the regular season

We made it!