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Here are important NFL offseason dates Redskins fans should know

Here are important NFL offseason dates Redskins fans should know

The first two weeks of the 2020 offseason were quite chaotic at Redskins Park.

In the front office, the Redskins fired team president Bruce Allen and mutually parted ways with Eric Schaffer. Kyle Smith was promoted to Senior VP of Player Personnel, Doug Williams was reassigned to a player development role, and salary cap guru Rob Rogers was brought in from Carolina.

On the football side, the Redskins hired Ron Rivera as head coach just days after the season ended. Rivera has built a staff with many of his old colleagues in Carolina, including offensive coordinator Scott Turner, head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion, and more. One of Rivera's first hires in Washington was defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.

Things have since quieted down in Redskins Park. But there are several important dates coming up that will impact the future of the team. 

Dates to know:

January 17 -- Last day for college underclassmen to declare: Prospects Isaiah Simmons, and many others have yet to declare for the NFL Draft. This can impact who the Redskins take at No. 2.

January 25 -- Senior Bowl: Several top prospects compete for a week-long in Mobile, Ala. Some first-round prospects that have confirmed their attendance are LSU’s Kristian Fulton, South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw, Alabama’s Raekwon Davis and Terrell Lewis, and Utah State’s Jordan Love.

February 23-March 4 -- NFL Combine: Several NFL prospects will have the chance to improve their draft stock in front of all 32 teams. The health of Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa will likely be a big story this year. 

March 10 -- Last day to franchise tag: Redskins offensive lineman Brandon Scherff is a franchise tag candidate. Something to monitor this offseason.

March 16 -- Open contact in the free agency period: For 48 hours, teams are allowed to contact free agents, but not allowed to formally sign until the new league year.

March 18, 12:00 p.m. EST -- New League Year: New league year begins. Free agency officially begins. Trades can be accepted.

April 23-25 -- NFL Draft: The Redskins have the coveted No. 2 overall pick. Will they take Chase Young, another top talent, or trade back?

May 1-4 -- Rookie Minicamp: The three day period teams are allowed to have organized activities with their newest draftees and undrafted free agents.

Late May (Dates TBD): Redskins will hold Organized Team Activities (OTAs), the first time the 90-man roster will practice together. OTAs are technically optional.

July 15 -- Franchise Tag Deadline: At 4 p.m. EST, teams must either come to a long-term contract agreement with their franchise-tagged player, or the player can only sign a one-year contract with the team.

Mid-July (Dates TBD) -- Training Camp begins: Veteran players can report no earlier than 15 days prior to the team's first preseason game. Rookies can report up to a week earlier than veterans.

These dates may seem far off now, but they will be here before you know it.

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The Redskins intend to be ready for 'every scenario' when the 2020 NFL Draft begins

The Redskins intend to be ready for 'every scenario' when the 2020 NFL Draft begins

Kyle Smith began his media session at the Combine Tuesday by thanking Dan Snyder and Ron Rivera for giving him his new role of Vice President of Player Personnel, others in the front office for helping him in the past and even the hosts of the NFL's offseason staple for putting on such a well-run event.

It was an impressive way for the young executive to open up his presser and hinted at how detail-oriented he is. So, it should be no surprise that Smith intends to be beyond prepared for whatever the 2020 NFL Draft may throw at him and his franchise.

"Trade scenarios, we'll talk through all that stuff. That's part of those three, four, five days leading up to the draft. We'll go through every scenario," he told reporters in Indianapolis. "We will go through every scenario of how far back would we go if that scenario came or what if this team called and what do they have available? We'll go through all those scenarios so that draft night, when those opportunities come, we'll be ready to roll."

Every Redskins fan on the planet — as well as Redskins fans on other planets, if they exist (which is something this story won't examine further, sorry) — know that the key decision facing Washington these days is what to do with the No. 2 pick. And while Smith was open with his praise of Chase Young's potential, he made sure to mention that this year's class features plenty of other strong prospects.

As for the kinds of players Smith and Rivera will target, the two leaders are already unified in what they value, according to Smith.

"Sitting down from the very first conversation we had at Mr. Snyder's house, we talked through our process and what we've been doing with the draft and the type of players we've been looking for," he said. "And he talked about his process and... we kind of meshed it together. And we'll move forward together."

In explaining how the Redskins will assemble their draft board — by the way, hardcore fans will love his full breakdown on this episode of the Redskins Talk podcast — Smith explained that he's going to run those meetings. Eventually, Smith and the personnel folks will huddle with the coaches and pass over names of soon-to-be-pros the coaches need to review.

Then, by April, the two staffs will meet once more and finalize everything. Only then will the answer to Washington's major offseason question finally reveal itself, and Young or a couple of other of top selections will join the Redskins.

Regardless of that answer, Smith expects the organization to reach it in a shared fashion.

"It's a collaborative deal," he said. "We believe in our process. We're going to talk through everything... Once the coaches come in in April, we will sit in there and literally go through each thing, each scenario and set it together so everybody's on the same page and everybody's working together."

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Redskins VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith on Dwayne Haskins: 'He needs his time'

Redskins VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith on Dwayne Haskins: 'He needs his time'

Dwayne Haskins knows that the Redskins starting quarterback job will not be given to him; he must earn it. Ron Rivera has made that clear multiple times since taking over as the team's head coach.

Rivera has mentioned he's excited about Haskins' future, too, but the new head coach could also be looking for the second-year quarterback to use this offseason to go above and beyond and truly take command and ownership of the job. Doug Williams, the Redskins senior vice president of development, said as much earlier this week.

Redskins vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith believes thus far, Haskins has done exactly that.

"He's ready to do everything he possibly can," Smith said to local media on Tuesday in Indianapolis, speaking for the first time since being promoted to his current role in January. "The other day he told me he's bringing the guys down to Florida to throw with them and do the things he can do. He's doing all the extra stuff that we expect of him and he's got a bright future."

Working out with teammates at an off-site location during the offseason is not uncommon for NFL players. The league has placed multiple rules and regulations on NFL teams that restrict the amount of hands-on access coaches can have with players. It's up to the players to go about it themselves and coordinate times to work out together.

In addition to reaching out to his wideouts to schedule offseason work, Haskins has remained in the building since the season ended and continued to work on his craft. That's something Smith has noticed.

"He's smiling walking around the building," Smith said. "He's excited, he's energized."

The 22-year-old is still raw when it comes to experience; he only started one year at Ohio State and seven games a year ago as a rookie. Smith recognizes this and believes time will serve Haskins extremely well.

"He also needs his time. He's a young kid, man," Smith said. "He's got the right stuff. He's a good kid, he works hard. We're all excited about Dwayne."

Haskins had more than his fair share of growing pains as a rookie, but the Ohio State product really started to catch his stride towards the end of the season. Through the final six quarters of Haskins' season, he threw for 394 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions.

Haskins' progression towards the end of the 2019 campaign has excited many in the building, Smith included.

"I'm really excited about Dwayne," Smith said. "Obviously, as everybody has seen, he kind of ascended as the season went on. He played in [seven] games, he kept improving. I just had a conversation with him the other day. I'm excited, man."

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