Key dates from Chiefs fans from the 2020 NFL offseason
By Scott Loring
Get your calendar out. Here’s a quick snapshot of key dates and events from the 2020 NFL offseason of interest to Chiefs Kingdom.
You’ve ordered all your Super Bowl gear, but there are no games on the TV guide. Only 27 weeks until Preseason begins! If you’re reading this, then the NFL offseason is probably way more interesting than any other sporting events happening.
While it’s going to be quite some time until the Kansas City Chiefs take the field, there’s still plenty to look forward to in the next few months. Here’s a quick snapshot of the 2020 NFL offseason.
Feb. 24 – March 2 – NFL Combine
The annual NFL Combine held in Indianapolis, Indiana. See the full schedule for the event here.
Feb. 25 – Tagging Period Opens
NFL teams can officially tag their own pending free agents with the Franchise tag or the Transition tag. Under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams can only use one tag. The only Chief who is a likely candidate for the tag is defensive tackle Chris Jones, who is due for a huge payday. We’ll be keeping a close watch on this situation.
March 10 – Tagging Period Ends
The tagging period expires at 3:00 p.m. Arrowhead Time. Any team that wishes to apply the Franchise tag or Transition tag must notify the league office before this deadline.
March 16-March 18 – Free Agent Negotiations Can Begin
NFL teams can begin negotiating contracts with unrestricted free agents. This is often a frenzy, and, if history tells us anything, it’s that many deals will be agreed to on the first day. Teams must also make qualifying offers to any restricted free agents they intend to keep (the Chiefs have none).
Kansas City will have a lot of decisions to make on several players, a few of whom include Jones, cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland, defensive linemen Terrell Suggs, Emmanuel Ogbah, and Mike Pennel, linebacker Reggie Ragland, offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski, fullback Anthony Sherman, wide receiver DeMarcus Robinson, and several other contributors.
March 18 – New League Year/FA Opens
Free agent market becomes official, and it is commonly recognized as the New Year in the NFL. All contracts agreed upon in the prior two days can be signed, and by now most of the biggest names have already agreed to a deal somewhere.
March 29 – April 1 – Annual League Meetings
NFL Owners, executives, and head coaches will convene for the annual league meeting in Palm Beach, FL. Just a few of the topics of discussion at this year’s meeting include a new CBA (if one has not already been agreed upon), an alternative option to an onside kick (as was experimented with in the Pro Bowl last weekend), and a look back at the new instant replay rules with regard to pass interference. Last year, Clark Hunt lobbied for overtime rule changes.
April 20 – Chiefs Workouts Can Start
The Chiefs (given they have a veteran coach) can begin off-season workouts. Teams with new head coaches (Browns, Cowboys, Giants, Panthers, and Redskins) can begin on April 6.
April 23-25 – NFL Draft
The NFL Draft in Las Vegas, NV. Round 1 is Thursday night. Rounds 2 and 3 are on Friday night. Rounds 4-7 are on Saturday. A large contingency of Super Bowl Champion faithful would be welcomed wholeheartedly in the new home of the rival Las Vegas Raiders. Ticket and travel information here. (Right now the Chiefs have 5 overall picks, at the very bottom of rounds 1-5.)
April 27 – XFL to NFL
XFL players are eligible to sign with NFL teams. Remember last season, the Chiefs added Keith Reaser from the short-lived Alliance of American Football.
May 1-4 or May 8-11 – Minicamps
NFL teams can hold one three-day rookie mini-camp on one of those two weekends.
July 15 – Tagged Negotiations Deadline
Deadline to ink multi-year deals with Franchise or Transition tagged players. Any player without a deal after the deadline can only sign a 1-year deal and may not negotiate a multi-year deal until after the conclusion of the season.
August 6-9 – Hall of Fame Weekend
Hall of Fame Game in Canton, OH. The game will be played on August 6th, and the teams are still TBA. The league tries to get teams who are associated with the enshrinees, so in spite of their Super Bowl win, the Chiefs are not expected to be a candidate. Details for the weekend can be found here.
Enshrinees for this year’s class are Steelers coach (and former Chiefs defensive coordinator) Bill Cowher, Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson, running back Edgerrin James, receiver Isaac Bruce, safeties Troy Polamalu and Steve Atwater, and offensive lineman Steve Hutchinson.
Training camp and Preseason games are yet to be announced. Preseason dates will be announced in April.