The Redskins' season may be over, but a team's work never really ends. Here's a look at the league's important dates—and what they mean for the Skins—leading up to training camp in Richmond this summer:
Jan. 26—Redskins GM Scot McCloughan will hold a press conference to discuss the 2015 season and 2016 offseason in Mobile, Ala., where he’ll be scouting the Senior Bowl.
Feb. 8—Waiver system begins for 2016. This is the earliest date that the Redskins can cut ties with quarterback Robert Griffin III as well as other players.
Feb. 16—First day for teams to designate franchise or transition player tags. The player to watch here, obviously, is quarterback Kirk Cousins, the Redskins' most important free agent.
Feb. 23-29—Scouting Combine, Indianapolis. Much of the NFL world descends on Indy to get an up-close look at this year’s top college prospects …and, perhaps, lay the foundation for free agent deals.
March 1—Deadline (4 p.m.) for teams to designate franchise or transition player tags. Again, this could be a newsy day...if Cousins has not been re-signed.
March 7-9—Teams are permitted to contact the agents of pending free agents. Contracts, however, cannot be signed with a new team until 4 p.m. on March 9.
March 9—2016 league year and the free agency period begin at 4 p.m. The Redskins currently have 21 players with expiring contracts, including starters Kirk Cousins, Alfred Morris, Terrance Knighton, Darrel Young, Mason Foster, Will Compton, Junior Galette and Will Blackmon, among others. A team can re-sign its own free agents at any time, however. Griffin must be released by this date or the guarantee on his $16.2 million option for 2016 will kick in.
March 9—Rule of Top-51 begins. All teams must be under the projected $150 – $153.4 million salary cap by 4 p.m.
April 18—The Redskins (and all other teams with returning head coaches) can begin offseason workout programs.
Mid-April—The NFL will announce a finalized 2016 schedule. We already know the Redskins’ opponents. They'll host the Browns, Packers, Vikings, Panthers, Steelers, Eagles, Giants and Cowboys and will travel to the Cardinals, Lions, Ravens, Bengals (in London), Bears, Eagles, Giants and Cowboys. Yeah, that sounds harder than 2015's slate.
April 28-30—2016 NFL Draft, Chicago. The Redskins hold the 21st overall pick and eight picks overall, including two in the seventh round.
April 30—After the final selection is made, teams can begin signing players (UDFAs) who were eligible for the 2016 draft.
May 6-16—Teams can hold a three-day rookie minicamp.
Late May – mid-June—The Redskins will hold three OTA sessions and a mandatory minicamp. The team typically announces the exact dates in late March or early April.
July 15—Final day for teams to reach a long-term extension with players who were franchised. Another key date for Cousins if, of course, he was franchised.
Late July—The Redskins will open training camp in Richmond.