2015 NFL Offseason: Important Dates to Remember


It’s the NFL offseason, and as the Scouting Combine approaches, the rumor mill is going to be heating up, and teams are going to be putting to action the plans they’ve had in place and are finalizing to make a run at next year’s Super Bowl.

The Broncos, led by John Elway, are once again a major team of focus this offseason with the decision forthcoming from quarterback Peyton Manning. Should he play an 18th NFL season and take another shot at winning a Super Bowl while (likely) breaking the last two remaining major records for a starting QB in the NFL?

Some fans are torn on it, but that topic leads us to the topic of this article — major dates for the Broncos (and every team in the NFL) this offseason.

Here’s a quick shot of every big event coming up, and what it means for Elway and the Broncos.

Feb 16 – First day to designate franchise or transition players

This will likely be the biggest topic of discussion for the Broncos that doesn’t involve Peyton Manning (directly) over the next couple of weeks. The Broncos are expected to place the franchise tag on wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, unless a long-term contract can be reached in the near future.

If John Elway can reach a long term deal with DT, the Broncos could possibly use the tag on Julius Thomas, who is likely to be the Broncos’ most sought after free agent on the open market this offseason.

Feb 17-23 – Scouting Combine

Draft prospects work out in their underwear in the most watched football workout in the world. The Broncos will get to meet face to face with prospects at the Combine, which is more important than anything else that goes on here, really. Except of course for the 40 yard dash.

The Combine is also a place where teams discuss possible trades and things like that, so there will be some fun rumors floating around, to be sure.

Mar 2 – Deadline to designate franchise or transition players

Again, the name to watch here is Demaryius Thomas. He’s not hitting the open market, so no need to worry about that. The only question is if it will for sure be him or if the Broncos will lock him up long-term and use this on someone else, if anybody.

Mar 7-10 – Teams may contact agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents. This has become known as the “legal tampering” window.

Let the games begin. Free agency not officially open but this is always an exciting time for players and their agents to talk to prospective teams.

Mar 9 – Manning’s Salary Fully Guaranteed

The moment of truth. Peyton Manning will have to take his scheduled physical between February 23rd and early March, and if he passes that physical and the Broncos are still sold out for him as we expect them to be, his $19 million is fully guaranteed.

That is both terrifying and a relief. The Broncos really would like to be able to make some improvements this offseason, and paying Manning $19 million is something you’d hope they could re-structure.

We shall soon know.

Mar 10 – 2015 league year begins at 4 PM ET. Teams subject to the top-51 salary cap and can begin signing free agents.

GLORY. Free agency begins, the Broncos begin their climb back to the top, and the offseason has officially begun.

Next up, the NFL Draft in April…