Arizona Cardinals offseason: What lies ahead with the Super Bowl over?

Rob Carr

We look at the important dates coming up in the offseason.

The Super Bowl is done. The Baltimore Ravens are the champions. Now the offseason has officially begun. As such, the real work starts for the Arizona Cardinals and their front office and coaches. We know that there is the NFL Combine and the NFL Draft and the new calendar year, but what exactly is happening in the way of important dates?

Here is the info you need?

February 20-26L NFL Combine

This is when the NFL Combine takes place in Indianapolis. Players from all over the nation will be interviewed, weighed, measured, poked and prodded. There will be regional combines in Los Angeles Feb 9-10, Houston Feb 16 and Cleveland Feb 17.

After the big combine, the league also hosts regional combines in New Jersey on March 2-3, in Tampa March 9 and in Chicago March 10.

March 9-11: Free agent talks can begin

In a new rule, team are allowed to begin negotiating with soon to be unrestricted free agents. It was always believed that this happened anyway. Now it is allowed.

March 10: Daylight Savings Time

This only matters for people in Arizona because the time on the East Coast will be three hours ahead.

March 12: League year begins

A few important things have to happen on the 12th by 4PM ET (1PM Arizona time)

  1. All "exclusive rights" players must be offered a minimum contract to players without a contract and less than three year experience.
  2. All club options have to be exercised on contracts for the 2013 season.
  3. Tender offers for restricted free agents have to be extended.
  4. 2012 contracts expire at 4PM ET (1PM AZT)
  5. Teams must be under the salary cap by 4PM ET (1PM AZT), based on their top 51 contracts on the roster.
  6. At 4PM ET (1PM AZT) trades can begin again.
  7. At 4PM ET the league year begins and contracts for 2013 may be signed. Free agency officially begins.

March 15: Kevin Kolb's roster bonus

The Cardinals must decide whether or not to pay Kolb another $2 million or cut him.

March 17-20: League meetings

All the league and club officials will be here in Arizona talking about the game, rules and more.

April 25-27: NFL Draft

The Cards will make their selections from the amateur player draft.

May 20-22: League Spring Meetings

More meetings.

What are you most excited for?

Keep up with Cardinals news and opinions when you are not on the site. Follow Revenge of the Birds on Twitter at @revengeofbirds and "like" us on Facebook. You can follow me individually at @senorjessroot.

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