Dec 9, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; An NFL logo is seen on the field after a game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Key Dates for 2013 NFL Offseason

The 2012-2013 NFL season is behind us now that the Baltimore Ravens have defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII and we shift gears to the NFL offseason.  Bookmark this handy calendar for the 2013 NFL Offseason:

Feb. 9-10 Regional Combine, Orange Coast College-Lebard Stadium (Los Angeles)
Feb. 16 Regional Combine, Methodist Training Center (Houston)
Feb. 17 Regional Combine, Cleveland Browns Training Facility (Cleveland)
Feb. 20-26 NFL Scouting Combine (Indianapolis)
March 2-3 Regional Combine, Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility (New York/New Jersey)
March 9 Regional Combine, One Buccaneer Place (Tampa, Fla.)
March 10 Regional Combine, Halas Hall (Chicago)
March 9-11 Clubs are permitted to enter into contract negotiations with certified agents of players who will be Unrestricted Free Agents at the end of the current league year
March 12 Prior to 4 p.m. ET, clubs must exercise options for 2013 on all players who have option clauses in their 2012 contracts
  Prior to 4 p.m. ET, clubs 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
  Prior to 4 p.m. ET, clubs must submit a minimum salary offer to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2012 contracts and who have fewer than three seasons of free agency credit
  All 2012 player contracts will expire at 4 p.m. ET
  Top-51 Begins. All clubs must be under the salary cap prior to 4 p.m. ET
2013 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4 p.m. ET
Trading period begins at 4 p.m. ET for 2013, after expiration of all 2012 contracts
March 16-17 Regional Combine, Atlanta Falcons Training Facility (Atlanta)
March 17-20 Annual League Meeting (Phoenix)
March 23-24 Regional Combine, Virginia Mason Athletic Center (Seattle)
Regional Combine, Baltimore Ravens Training Facility (Baltimore)
April 7-8 Super Regional Combine, Cowboys Stadium (Dallas)
April 25-27 2013 NFL Draft (New York)
May 20-22 NFL Spring League Meeting (Boston)
Sept. 5 NFL Kickoff 2013

In case you’re not familiar with the term “Regional Combine” don’t worry, I wasn’t familiar with it either.  Here’s what I learned about it:

Regional combines are conducted specifically for players eligible for the 2013 draft but not attending the Indianapolis combine; players with college playing experience who want to gauge their pro potential; and players with some professional playing experience but who have been out of the game for a period of time.

NFL executive Ray Anderson says the regional combines program “provides players who may not have had the chance before the opportunity to work out for NFL personnel executives. It allows all 32 clubs a chance to further evaluate future prospects.”

We’re still not sure about OTA’s and minicamps yet, but when those dates are announced, we’ll be sure to post them. Since the Bears changed head coaches, they’ll be allowed an extra mini-camp.

Stay tuned to Bear Goggles On for all your Chicago Bears and NFL news.  We’ll start diving deep into pre-draft and free agency research, break down key moments from last season, look back into the history books and have fun all offseason.  We will have fresh content EVERY SINGLE DAY, so be sure to pop in frequently when you have a Bears itch; we’ll be here to scratch it for you.


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