The offseason begins in earnest today, with the Falcons being able to waive players if they wish to do so. This could mark the first movement we see in what will hopefully be a product 2014 free agency and NFL Draft for the Atlanta Falcons.
Here's a full schedule with the most important dates for the coming months of the offseason.
|February 3||Waiver system begins for 2014.|
|February 8-9||NFL Regional Combine, Methodist Training Center, Houston, Texas.|
|February 15-16||NFL Regional Combine, Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, Florham Park, New Jersey.|
|February 17||First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.|
|February 19-25||NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.|
|February 22||NFL Regional Combine, Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, California.|
|March 1||NFL Regional Combine, One Buccaneer Place, Tampa, Florida.|
|March 3||Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.|
|March 8-9||NFL Regional Combine, Atlanta Falcons Training Facility, Flowery Branch, Georgia.|
|March 8||Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2013 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 11. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 11.|
|March 11||Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2014 on all players who have option clauses in their 2013 contracts.|
|March 11||Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, 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.|
|March 11||Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2013 contracts and who have fewer than three Accrued Seasons of free agency credit.|
|March 11||Top-51 Begins. All clubs must be under the 2014 Salary Cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.|
|March 11||All 2013 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.|
|March 11||The 2014 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
The first day of the 2014 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 11. clubs will receive a Personnel Notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 11.
|March 11||Trading period for 2014 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2013 contracts.|
|March 15||NFL Regional Combine, Halas Hall, Lake Forest, Illinois.|
|March 22||NFL Regional Combine, Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University, Davie, Florida.|
|March 22-23||NFL Regional Combine, Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Renton, Washington.|
|March 23-26||Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida.|
|March 29||NFL Regional Combine, Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, Indianapolis, Indiana.|
|March 29-30||NFL Regional Combine, Under Armour Performance Center, Owings Mills, Maryland.|
|April 7||Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2013 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.|
|April 12-13||Super Regional Combine, Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan.|
|April 21||Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.|
|May 2||Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.|
|May 7||Deadline for Prior Club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.|
|May 8-10||2014 NFL Draft, New York City, New York.|
|May 19-21||NFL Spring League Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia.|
|June 2||Deadline for Prior Club to send "June 1 Tender" to its unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a Player Contract with a Club by July 22 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later, he may negotiate or sign a Player Contract from that date until the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, at 4:00 p.m., New York time, only with his Prior Club.|
|June 2||Deadline for Prior Club to send "June 1 Tender" to its unsigned Restricted Free Agents who received a Qualifying Offer for a Right of First Refusal Only in order for such player to be subject to the CBA's "June 15 Tender" provision.|
|June 16||Deadline for club to withdraw Qualifying Offer to Restricted Free Agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting "June 15 Tender" of one-year contract at 110 percent of the player's prior-year Paragraph 5 Salary (with all other terms of his prior-year contract carried forward unchanged).|
|June 22-28||Rookie Symposium, Aurora, Ohio.|
|July 15||At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any Club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multi-year contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his Prior Club for the 2014 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the Club's last regular season game.|
|Mid-July||Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for Rookies and First-Year Players beginning seven days prior to the club's earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for veteran players.
Veteran players (defined as a player with at least one pension-credited season) other than quarterbacks or "injured players" (as defined in CBA Article 21, Section 6) may report to a club's preseason training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the club's first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.
Veteran quarterbacks and injured players may be required to report to the club's preseason training camp no earlier than five days immediately prior to the mandatory reporting date for all other veteran players, provided the club has already opened (or simultaneously opens) its official preseason training camp for all Rookies and First-Year players.
A three-day acclimation period will apply to players who are on a club's roster up to and including the mandatory veteran reporting date. Players who join the roster after that date may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical.
|July 22||Signing Period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents to whom a "June 1 Tender" was made by Prior Club. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, Prior Club has exclusive negotiating rights. (* or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later.)|
|July 22||Signing Period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, Prior Club has exclusive negotiating rights.|
A word about waivers, since StaffanO asked in the comments. Any player with less than four years of service time is subject to waivers, and can be claimed by any other team. The waiver period runs for 24 hours, and if a player clears, he is a free agent. Players with more than four years of service time can be released outright.
The Falcons have a relatively high waiver priority after last season, so they'll have a crack at any waived players they're interested in. When Thomas Dimitroff talked to the AJC about being able to make moves as soon as the rosters were unfrozen, this is what he meant. The Falcons themselves can waive or release players if it's clear they're not going to be a part of the team's plans, too.
Use this thread to discuss the Falcons and if there are any waived players coming today.