Let the countdown begin!
Although the Steelers off-season began weeks ago, the 2018 NFL season has now officially concluded. Unfortunately, this means we now have no meaningful football to look forward to for more than half a year. With various off-season events sprinkled over the next several months, we can officially count down the number of days to key off-season dates.
0 days: Waivers
Today is the first day of the implementation of the waiver system for 2019. Players can now be waived in order to enter free agency for next year.
15 days: Franchise/Transition Tag
Beginning on February 19, 2019 teams are able to designate a player with the franchise or transition tag. Teams have two weeks (until 4 PM on March 5, 2019) until the deadline for designation.
22 days: Scouting Combine
The NFL scouting combine begins on February 26, 2019 in Indianapolis. It runs for a week until March 4.
35 days: Free Agent Negotiation
For the three days leading up to when free agency officially begins, teams may begin negotiating with players and agents for free-agent signings on March 11, 2019.
37 days: Free Agency
At 4 PM on March 13, 2019, teams may officially sign free-agent players to contracts for the upcoming season. This is also the deadline for teams to exercise options on players, submit restricted free agent and exclusive rights tenders, and for teams to be under the 2019 salary cap. Teams may also trade players once the 4 PM deadline has passed.
70 days: Offseason Workouts
April 15, 2019 is the first day teams with returning head coaches can begin their offseason workout program.
~73 days: NFL Schedule Release
It isn’t usually announced until just before it occurs, but the general release date for the NFL schedule is about a week before the draft.
80 days: NFL Draft
The 2019 NFL draft will be held in Nashville, Tennessee beginning on April 25.
161 days: Franchise Tag Signing
Any player who was designated with a franchise tag must have a signed contract by 4 PM on July 15, 2019. After this date, the player can only play under the tag for the season.
168 days: Transition Tag Signing
Any player who is designated with the transition tag must have a signed contract from another club by 4 PM on July 22, 2019. After this date, only the team who issued the tag has exclusive negotiating rights.
~170 days: Training Camp
Although with the Steelers will not officially announce the official start date of training camp until the preseason schedule is set, they generally report the middle of the final week of July.
178 days: Hall of Fame Game
Hopefully this date is insignificant to the Steelers and they are not forced to play a fifth preseason game. But the next time NFL players face off on the field will be in the Hall of Fame game on August 1, 2019.
185-188 days: First Preseason Game
Assuming the Steelers are not stuck playing in the Hall of Fame game, their first preseason game will lie somewhere between Thursday, August 8 and Sunday, August 11, 2019.
206 days: Last Preseason Game
If the NFL follows their typical schedule, the final preseason games for all teams will be on Thursday, August 29, 2019.
208 days: 53-man Rosters
By 4 PM on Saturday, August 31, teams will have to make their final cuts in order to determine the 53-man roster.
213 days: NFL Kickoff Game
Thursday, September 5, 2019 will be the first game of the NFL season. Barring a horrendous scheduling conflict much like that in 2013, the game will be played in New England. The most likely opponent for the game will either be Pittsburgh, Dallas, Kansas City, or possibly even Cleveland being an up-and-coming team.
363 days: Super Bowl LIV
Super Bowl LIV is scheduled to be played on February 2, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Get your reservations booked now Steelers fans!