NFL dates to remember and how they relate to the Cardinals

Mar 24, 2023, 12:36 PM | Updated: 12:36 pm
Arizona Cardinals' owner Michael Bidwill, left, new head coach Jonathan Gannon center, and general ...

Arizona Cardinals' owner Michael Bidwill, left, new head coach Jonathan Gannon center, and general manager Monti Ossenfort, pose for a photo during an NFL football press conference, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023 at the team's training facility in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Alberto Mariani)

(AP Photo/Alberto Mariani)

The NFL offseason is in full swing.

And while the word offseason sounds like down time to some, it’s anything but for Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort and the rest of Arizona’s front office with the number of meetings, events and dates to keep track of.

A look at the key offseason dates to circle on the calendar and what they mean for the Cardinals:

Important NFL offseason dates

March 26-29

Annual league meetings take place in Phoenix.

April 11

The Cardinals’ offseason strength and conditioning program begins.

April 19

The deadline for teams to meet or conduct a physical with draft-eligible players at their facilities.

April 21

The deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.

After re-signing quarterback and restricted free agent David Blough this offseason, the Cardinals have one RFA to decide on in wide receiver Antoine Wesley.

Wesley had figured to play a bigger part in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense this season with DeAndre Hopkins on the shelf to start 2022 due to a PED suspension. Unfortunately for the wideout, he dealt with hip/groin and quadriceps injuries this past season and didn’t register a snap.

April 25

Arizona’s voluntary veteran minicamp gets underway.

Keyword for the three-day minicamp is “voluntary.” It’ll be interesting to see who shows up and who doesn’t.

April 26

The deadline for NFL teams to meet or conduct physicals with draft prospects at any location.

This will mark the final time the Cardinals can meet with Will Anderson Jr. or any other prospects before the 2023 NFL Draft.

April 27-29

The 2023 NFL Draft takes place in Kansas City.

May 2

The deadline for teams to exercise fifth-year options on players selected in the first round of the 2020 draft.

For the Cardinals, that means making a decision on star backer Isaiah Simmons.

Simmons has played all over the field for Arizona the past three years, compiling 258 tackles, 7.5 sacks, four interceptions, 16 passes defensed, seven forced fumbles and 11 QB hits in 50 career games (37 starts).

How new head coach Jonathan Gannon and defensive coordinator Nick Rallis, who have preached adaptability ever since signing on with the organization, utilize the versatile backer will hint toward what they’ve seen from Simmons through tape and in meetings.

May 12-14

NFL teams can hold their three-day rookie minicamp on one of two weekends following the draft.

Gannon and the Cardinals have opted to take the second option.

May 22

The first of three batches of Arizona’s voluntary OTAs for veterans and rookies begins.

May 22-24

Spring league meetings take place in Minneapolis.

May 24-25

The first wave of voluntary OTAs for veterans and rookies continues.

May 31-June 2

The second wave of Arizona’s voluntary OTAs for vets and rookies.

June 1

The Cardinals have a decision to make when it comes to Hopkins.

They can either trade the wideout for future assets Ossenfort can use at his disposal or keep Arizona’s undisputed No. 1 option — and his hefty cap hit — around.

If the Cardinals opt to move Hopkins via trade before or on June 1, the team will free up $8.1 million in cap in 2023.

Arizona would, however, have to shell out $22.6 million in dead money next season.

After June 1

Trading Hopkins after June 1 would save Arizona $19.45 and $14.92 million over the next two seasons.

Arizona would also be able to spread out the dead money hit into $11.3 million in each of the next two seasons.

June 5-8

The third and final wave of the Cardinals’ voluntary OTAs for veterans and rookies.

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NFL dates to remember and how they relate to the Cardinals