We are officially in the first day of the 2016 offseason. Like they say, with the NFL there is no offseason. Some key dates are coming up fast. Some are of league wide importance, while others are team specific based around how contracts were put together.
Putting those key dates and deadlines together was Joel Corry over at CBS Sports. Corry is a former sports agent who helped found Premier Sports & Entertainment, a sports management firm that represents professional athletes and coaches and he knows his stuff.
Here are all the key dates that affect the Raiders directly as Corry outlined.
The waiver system begins for 2016. Players with fewer than four years of service for benefit purposes are subject to waivers and their contracts can be claimed by other teams. Players with four or more years of service time become free agents when released.
Third day of waiver period
Raiders: $3.5 million of linebacker Curtis Lofton's $5.35 million 2016 base salary is fully guaranteed. The $3.5 million was guaranteed for injury at signing ... linebacker Nate Allen's $4.9 million 2016 base salary is fully guaranteed. Allen's base salary was guaranteed for injury at signing.
22 days before the start of the 2016 league year
This is the first day of a two-week period where teams can designate franchise or transition players. Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman and New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson are the players most likely to be franchised. Miller's franchise tag number should be $14.076 million if the 2016 salary cap is set at $153.4 million. It should be $15.434 million, $14.471 million and $13.784 million for Wilkerson, Jeffery and Norman, respectively.
The NFL Scouting Combine takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana. Meetings between agents of impending free agents and teams routinely occur at the Combine, although these types of discussions are prohibited by NFL rules. Teams are rarely penalized for tampering with players from other teams when those players are scheduled to become free agents.
The period for designating franchise or transition players ends at 4 p.m. ET. The Washington Redskins could franchise quarterback Kirk Cousins for $19.671 million (assumes $153.4 million 2016 salary cap) if a long-term deal isn't in place before this deadline.
NFL teams are allowed to negotiate with the agents of prospective unrestricted free agents during a two-day period ending at 3:59:59 p.m. ET on March 9. During the two day window, prospective unrestricted free agents can't visit teams or have direct contact with team employees, except those from their current clubs. A player's ability to re-sign with his current club isn't affected by the rule. The negotiating period does not apply to unsigned players receiving restricted free agent, franchise or transition tenders. Players who don't have an agent are also prohibited from having discussions with teams during this period.
First day of the 2016 league year
The top 51 begins. Only the top 51 salaries (i.e., cap numbers), including unsigned franchise, transition, restricted free agent and exclusive rights tenders, on a team count against the salary cap during the offseason. All teams must be under the salary cap prior to 4 p.m. ET.
The 2016 league year and free agency begin at 4 p.m. ET.
The trading period begins at 4 p.m. ET.
Third day of 2016 league year
Raiders: Center Rodney Hudson's $7.35 million 2016 base salary is fully guaranteed. The $7.35 million was guaranteed for injury at signing.
To see all of his key dates and deadlines across the NFL,click here.