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Important Dates for the Month of March

A guidebook for getting through NFL’s doldrums

NFL: Pro Bowl-NFC vs AFC Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL prepares to officially begin the 2018 season, we will keep you up to date for all of the important dates to remember as we boldly trudge through the professional football offseason—together!

This is a picture of 2018 imported dates.


  • February 20 - First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

This can be an expensive game, and this handy chart should explain why the Chargers aren’t likely to tag any players with the Franchise or Transition tag:

ESPN’s John Clayton provided these following projected numbers to use as a guideline:

Quarterback - $21,588.871

Defensive End – $16,988,266

Wide Receiver – $15,795,917

Linebacker - $15,287,383

Cornerback - $15,095,872

Offensive Lineman - $14,829,703

Defensive Tackle - $14,770,194

Running Back - $12,755,536

Safety - $11,691,943

Tight End - $9,865,550

Kicker/Punter - $4,946,841

The Chargers have not used the Franchise Tag since 2011 (Vincent Jackson). They have only used these tags a total of 9 times ever, so don’t hold your breath this week.

MARCH 2018

  • March 6 - Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, the deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

For reasons mentioned earlier, don’t expect any surprises from the Chargers. If you are especially bored this time of year, though, place your bets on whether or not Washington will tag QB Kirk Cousins. Sound ridiculous? It is. However, with the Jets vocally leaking a 60-million guaranteed first-year salary, Dan Snyder might just do the unthinkable and risk $34.5 million on a gamble that another team might still play ball with a trade. What does this have to do with the Chargers? It is AWESOME popcorn fodder for bored fans like yourself! For the first time in a long time, the Chargers are almost free of offseason controversy!

  • March 12-14 Free Agent legal tampering period begins.

The Chargers will probably be one of the quieter teams during Free Agency this year, but they will almost certainly hold a few surprise negotiations.

  • March 14 - Prior to 4:00 p.m. - Clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
  • March 14 - Prior to 4:00p.m. - Top 51 begins. All clubs must be under the 2018 salary cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.
  • March 14 - 4:00 p.m. - All 2017 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
  • March 14 - 4:01 p.m. - The 2018 league year and free agency period begin. Players can now be traded as well.
  • March 14 - 11:59 p.m. - The first day of the 2018 league year will end. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m. and 11:59:59 p.m.
  • March 25-28 - Annual League Meeting, Orlando, Florida.

Expect some hot-button issues to be pressed during the meeting, including the current state of the “catch” rule, the rules for the National Anthem, and possible revisions to the Rooney Rule. Because these are contentious issues and are just a few of the possible subjects to be brought up, don’t expect any sweeping changes at this time. They will almost certainly punt the issues until the Spring Meeting in May to gauge media and fan reactions.

-Jason “Remember, everything is East Coast time. Unless you’re the Browns.” Michaels