With the 2017 offseason now in full swing, here are several dates and events which New Orleans Saints fans can look forward to as the team marches toward next season.
Saturday, Jan. 21 - East/West Shrine Game (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
NFL prospects will showcase their talents for scouts from around the league in the 92nd edition of the game.
Saturday, Jan. 28 - Reese's Senior Bowl (Mobile, Ala.)
Another opporunity for elite college athletes to impress NFL front offices during the game and the week of preperation which leads up to it. Saints first-round selection Sheldon Rankins appeared in the game last year.
Tuesday, Jan. 31 - Deadline to negotiate with CFL players
Secondary players Delvin Breaux and Erik Harris came to New Orleans via the Canadian Football League.
Wednesday, Feb. 15 - First day for clubs to designate franchise or transition players
The deadline to do so will on March 4 at 4 PM ET. The Saints did not apply the franchise tag to anyone last season.
Feb. 28 - March 6 - NFL Draft Combine (Indianapolis, IN)
One of the most analyzed events of the offseason, NFL prospects will flock to central Indiana to go through a host of drills, inteviews with front offices and much more.
Thursday, March 9 - 2017 league year/free agency begins
Free agency will officially kick off at 4 PM ET. By that time, all teams must be under the salary cap, excercise 2017 options for players with those clauses and extend qualifying offers to restricted free agents.
Though teams will be permitted to reach out to free agents earlier, contracts cannot become official until 4 PM ET. The 2017 trading period will also commence at that time.
Saturday, March 11 - NFL regional combine (Metaire, LA)
The subset of the main combine will have several editions around the country with one taking place at the New Orleans Saints' training facilities.
March 26-29 - Annual NFL Meetings (Phoenix, AZ)
Officials, coaches and executives from around the NFL will convene to discuss various league initiatives, policies, etc.
Monday, April 17 - Offseason workout programs permitted to begin
Details regarding dates and schedules will be announced at a later time.
Friday, April 21 - Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheet
April 27-29 - 2017 NFL Draft (Philadelphia, PA)
Currently, the Saints hold the 11th overall pick in the draft.
May 5 - May 8 - Optional rookie minicamp
Teams are permitted to put on a minicamp for newly drafted and signed rookies. Clubs may also put on this camp the following weeken d May 12-15.
May 15- Rookies report
New Saints can officially report to New Orleans for offseason workouts.
May 22-24 - NFL meetings (Chicago, IL)
League officials will meet once again prior to offseason workouts kicking into full gear.
Schedules for minicamp, OTAs, training camp and more will be announced at a later date.