Timeline: 2014 Spring NFL dates

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Here’s some upcoming important dates for the NFL and the New York Jets.

February 17 – Franchise or Transition Players tags begin

Comment: As we discussed last week, the Jets will likely forego Franchise or Transition tagging anyone of their free agents.  Even on the open market, they should be able to retain players for less than tag costs.

February 19-25 – NFL Scouting Combine is held in Indianapolis

Comment: The Jets have done a solid job with the draft since 2011, but this year is a huge chance for them to build on some of their mid and late round successes.  This draft class will offer the Jets an incredible opportunity to address depth all over the roster by finding players that fit their system to make this roster both young and deep for the next five years in all three phases.  The Jets front office will sit down with some pending free agents like Austin Howard and possibly Nick Folk.  Also look for rumors of the Jets trying to move Mark Sanchez here.

March 3 – Deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players

Comment: This is the more important date for the Jets as it will help them map free agency.  If the Jets decide to be players in free agency, do any of their potential Jets targets in free agency

March 8 – Clubs can contact and enter into contract negotiations with agents of pending free agents.  Contract cannot be executed with new teams until 4 pm (ET) on March 11.

Comment: While deals can’t be executed this is where free agency begins.  With a large amount of cap space expected for the Jets, the team could be very active during this initial period as they look to set up framework deals with potential targets.  Look for the Jets to make one or two big signings on the offensive side of the ball alone, let alone some sound investment in the secondary during free agency.

March 11 – Clubs must submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents with expiring contracts which they desire to retain first right of refusal by 4 pm (ET).

Comments: There aren’t many restricted free agents for the Jets this year and they might not make a single qualifying offer this year.  Even so, the Jets should do their best to keep an eye on Nick Bellore.  Bellore was a standout special teamer for the Jets in his kick coverage in 2013, ranking 12th on kick coverage among all qualifying special teamers per Pro Football Focus.  With Ben Kotwica moving to Washington the Jets would be wise to keep the lines of communication open with Bellore.

March 11 – All clubs must be under the 2014 salary cap prior to 4 pm (ET) and all 2013 player contracts expire.

Comments: This won’t be a problem for the Jets as they expect to be well under the cap, but look to see what players are cut prior to this date.  Santonio Holmes is a prime target and so is Antonio Cromartie.  Mark Sanchez is chief among the likely casualties, but unless the Jets are pressed to get under the cap for some big signings they might draw it out until the the Owners Meetings to exhaust the option of trading Sanchez. 

March 11 – open free agent period for 2014 begins at 4 pm (ET)

Comments: Wide receiver, tight end, safety and outside linebacker are positions of acute need for the Jets, but don’t rule out potential interest in free agent QB Mike Vick.

March 23-26 – Annual league meetings (Owners’ Meetings) in Orlando

Comments: I believe Mark Sanchez’s bonus is due during the course of these meetings, do the Jets use the 23rd and 24th to exhaust any option of moving Sanchez?

April 21 – Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs

Comments: The Jets will want to get a last look at some progress from players before they enter the draft.  Expect defensive back and offensive line to be under scrutiny here if they don’t make any substantial moves during free agency.

May 2 – Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

Comments: We don’t expect there to be any drama around this.  If the Jets extend any offer sheets the players they have will likely be more than happy to get the higher dollar contract before they hit free agency.

May 8-10 – 2014 NFL Draft in New York City

Comments: While it’s not the only area of need, we expect that the pundits will judge the Jets by how much help they provide their quarterback through the draft.

 

 




13 comments
Jimmy Passadino
Jimmy Passadino

The Jets have been downright terrible at drafting offensive players in the Rex era. So it say they have done well since 2011 isn't totally accurate

a57se
a57se

 With Ben Kotwica moving to Washington the Jets would be wise to keep the lines of communication open with Bellore.

The Jets would be wise to get Bellore signed BEFORE he can go elsewhere. Pettine in Cleveland or Kotwica in Washington are both hot spots for him.

 Wide receiver, tight end, safety and outside linebacker are positions of acute need for the Jets, but don’t rule out potential interest in free agent QB Mike Vick.


Come on dude, Safety is NOT an ACUTE need and forget about Vick, he will not be a Jet.

levi
levi

@a57se  You might as well get on board with the safety search 57. haha

levi
levi

@a57se   Let me guess, this is the ole "Rex doesnt like ballhawking safeties in his defense argument." Well thats what Reed is/was so why did he pick him up? Your telling me a defensive minded guy like Rex would have no use for Byrd or whitner in his system? Hogwash!!

a57se
a57se

@levi @a57se 

The same clowns in the media saying Safety is a huge need don't understand Rex' defense AND they think Ed Reed sucked last season. Two opinions that belie their football intelligence.

levi
levi

@harold  Also if they replace Cro it doesnt have to be with the best CB on the market because Milliner was drafted to be the #1 corner so whoever the other guy is will be covering #2 WR's just as Cro was towards the end of the season. So technically it doesnt have to be one or the other, they could sign both safety and CB.

levi
levi

@harold  Reed is a dinosaur, Landry is nothing special, Allen looked good and he should be a good SS we need a ball hawking FS to go along with him and Landry. 

I dont disagree that we could use a CB but the market is loaded this year with safeties so it may be wise to look into getting one.

harold
harold

I don't bringing back a 30 year old who refuses to accept coaching. If Cro would simply play more bump and run it would mask his issues, with transitioning in and out breaks because he is a long strider. Berry has never been great so would not put all my eggs in that basket. Milliner is improving but we certainly need top notch Cb

At safety we already had a threesomes that helped in several victories last season. With a full off-season I feel confidnt that group will be fine.

Cb is a weaker position by far in my eyes. No guarantees two injured players and a second year guy all perform well.

levi
levi

@harold  Cro was playing hurt, get him healthy and re-sign him, Berry was on IR and should be back and Milliner wont be a scared rookie anymore. Problem solved. Now lets get a good safety to generate some turnovers something this team could not seem to do even when they had one of the best CB tandems in the league.

levi
levi

@a57se  Well if Bassett and I agree that should be all you need. However Ive been seeing some others in the media think so too.

harold
harold

I think Safety as a big need is overblown. Rex's system needs quality Cb play and for much of last season it was sorely lacking. Let's get the real problem on the outside fixed first.