I get questions from time to time on when things will happen so I thought I'd consolidate those into a posting.
Monday, March 5th: End of Franchise Period
Deadline for teams to designate a player as having the franchise tag. Teams will really start prep for their plans of action for free agency.
Tuesday, March 13th: Free Agency.
I wouldn't expect Raiders to be active in first few days because they won't have the money to sign many, if any, big names. I think they have a shot at one mid level name – someone like Tracy Porter – but even that is questionable with the salary situation. We'll see how things shake out in the next few days with players' contracts.
Sunday, March 25 – Wednesday, March 28th: Owners Meeting
Important for a couple of reasons. The league may come out of this meeting with some new rules. Also, this is when the league officially agrees and announced Compensatory picks awarded. Raiders look to be in line for 2-3.
Thursday, April 2nd: Raiders first camp
All teams with a new head coach are given a extra camp to be able to implement the new schemes and systems.
Early April: Schedule Release
No date has been announced but the schedule came out around April 12th last year, so that' a good Barameter
The Raiders already know their opponents for 2012 and which will be home vs away games. You can see it here.
Thursday, April 26th-Saturday, April 28th: NFL Draft
Barring a big trade, the earliest pick the Raiders will have will be late on Friday, April 27th at the end of the 3rd round, the earliest a compensatory pick can be awarded.
Late July, Date not set: Training camp
Last year all teams started training camp between July 27 and July 31, but the offseason was shortened so training camp may be slightly earlier this year.
Saturday, August 4th : Hall of Fame Enshrinement
Sunday, August 5th: Hall of Fame Game
Hurray! The return of NFL football (albeit preseason football). This year's contest pits the Arizona Cardinals and the New Orleans Saints. Game is set for 8pm ET and the game will be televised on NFL Network.
Preseason Schedule yet to be announced
Wednesday, Sept 5th: NFL Opening Game
All we know at this time is that the game will feature the Giants in the Meadowland.
The season typically starts on a Thursday but the NFL has moved it to Wednesday to not clash with President Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Sunday February 3rd, Superbowl
Location: Superdome, New Orleans
Raiders vs ?
You can follow me on Twitter @AsherMathews