What happens next for Seahawks? A review of key offseason dates

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Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scores a touchdown in front of Dallas Cowboys safety Jeff Heath (38) and defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (90) during the third quarter in an NFL Wild Card playoff game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. The Cowboys advanced, 24-22. (Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

The Seahawks are now more than a week into a too-early offseason.

But that doesn’t mean that everything stops for Seattle and any other NFL team out of the playoffs.

Here is a look at some key offseason dates and what they could mean for the Seahawks.

Jan. 26 -- Senior Bowl: Two things happen here -- one, all NFL teams get their first really serious look at some of the top 2019 draft picks since the end of the college season as the draft season begins to really heat up; two, team execs often meet with the agents of their own free agents to begin talking about contracts.

Feb. 12 -- Date when teams can begin signing players from the Canadian Football League who will be free agents.

Feb. 19 -- Beginning of the period when NFL teams can use the franchise or transition tags: Seattle has not used a franchise tag since 2010 on kicker Olindo Mare. But it could well do so this year on impending free agent defensive end Frank Clark.

Feb. 26-March 4 -- NFL combine: Again held in Indianapolis, teams get a chance to interview, measure and time more than 300 draft-eligible players (each team can have formal 15-minute interviews with 60 players and informal talks with many more). But with the free-agency period less than two weeks away, teams also have many conversations with agents of veteran players, which can begin to set in place the moves the team will make then.

March 11-13 -- Free agency begins to begin: Starting at 1 p.m. Seattle time on March 11, as the NFL words it, “clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2018 player contracts” at 1 p.m. Seattle time on March 13.

March 13 -- Beginning of free-agent signing period: At 1 p.m. Seattle time on this date the new league year begins and teams can begin to sign free agents from other teams whose contracts have run out (teams can always re-sign their own unrestricted free agents, meaning Seattle can at any time re-sign Clark or K.J. Wright, to name two).

March 13 -- Deadline to submit offers to restricted and exclusive-rights free agents: Yep, this is a big date as this is also when teams have to have given offers to their RFAs and ERFAs. If not, then they, too, become free agents on this date and can sign with anyone.

March 24-27 -- Annual NFL league meeting in Phoenix: Rules changes and lots of other league business happens during these four days.

April 15 -- Beginning of offseason program: Teams such as the Seahawks who have an existing head coach can begin their official offseason program on this date (teams with new coaches can start April 1).

Late April -- Release of the NFL schedule: Of late, the NFL has taken to releasing its schedule on the Thursday before the NFL draft.

April 25-27 -- NFL draft: This year’s draft will be held in Nashville. As of today, Seattle has just four picks, in the first, third, fourth and fifth rounds, having traded the others. But expect that to change by the time the draft rolls around as you’d expect the Seahawks will make moves to add a few more.

May 3-6, or May 10-13 -- NFL rookie minicamps: Teams can hold their four-day minicamps on either of these two weekends.

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