I just love football. To me it's a year round sport, and now with as much coverage as the draft receives, the rookie combine is must see TV thanks to the NFL Network, there's free agency, the OTA's, rookie mini-camps, wall to wall training camp coverage... The way the NFL has marketed itself by spreading out their off-season and they way it's covered with the Internet and around the clock sports channels is pure genius. This year round in your face coverage is why the NFL has become America's favorite sport.
Like all NFL teams the Bears will have a lot of decisions to make this off-season, and the clock on that off-season has already started ticking. After the jump, I'll list the NFL off-season schedule for the next few months and add in a few Bears thoughts.
Feb 11 ~ Teams can start to use their Franchise and Transition tags.
This started yesterday and there were no announcements from any teams. The Bears are not expected to use a tag on any of their players. There are some potential free agents that if tagged, could effect the Bears plans.
Feb. 24-March 2 ~ The NFL Scouting Combine takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana
I love that this is televised now. And since I'm sure I'm not alone I'll give you the scheduled workout dates for the position groups:
Saturday, Feb. 27: Offensive Line, Specialists, Tight Ends
Sunday, Feb. 28: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Running Backs
Monday, March 1: Defensive Line, Linebackers
Tuesday, March 2: Defensive Backs
I'm not a guy that falls in love solely with the numbers, but I know how important the numbers are to a player's draft status, which is why I really pay attention to guys I hope the Bears are targeting. If they don't workout well they could slip to Chicago.
March 5 ~ Free agency begins.
I hope the Bears are ready to go at the stroke of Midnight with offers to some big time free agents. Julius Peppers would be a nice start...
March 21-24 ~ Annual owners meeting
For your reading pleasure, here is a Q&A issued from the NFL about their Collective Bargaining Agreement. Click Here.
March 29 ~ Tentative start date for the Bears off-season workout program.
The maximum time an NFL team can spend in an off-season program is 14 weeks. With a new offense and terminology to put in place expect the Bears to utilize the entire 14 weeks this year. This is a voluntary program for the players.
Early April ~ 2010 regular season schedule announced
I wonder how many Prime Time games the Bears will get in 2010?
April 22-24 ~ 2010 NFL Draft
As it stands now, the Bears have one pick in rounds 3 through 7. In the coming weeks I'll start posting some draft stuff on WCG, by spotlighting some prospective picks for the Bears.
April 30-May 2 ~ Tentative rookie mini-camp for the Bears
Expect a good amount of undrafted free agents to be brought in, along with their stellar 2010 draft class of course.
May 21-23 ~ Tentative weekend for the Bears Mini-camp
This is a mandatory camp for the Bears.
June 2-24 ~ Teams can start their OTA's
Teams can have a max of 14 days for their program, hopefully the Bears will make use of the entire time. This is also a voluntary program for the players.