By Rick Allen
With an outstanding weekend of conference championship football behind us and only a few days until the Super Bowl, it is time to lay out what the NFL off season calendar has in store for the year round football fan.
January 28th – Senior Bowl – Kick off at 3pm, NFL Channel- One last chance to watch your favorite college senior or start your own draft depth chart.
January 29th – NFL Pro Bowl – 7pm NBC - With the addition of Brandon Moore replacing Patriots guard Brian Winters and joining offensive line mates D’ Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold, watch the Jets O-line lead the AFC Pro Bowl team.
February 5th – Super Bowl XLVI – 6:25 on NBC- New England Patriots vs. New York Giants in Indianapolis. As if another Super Bowl without the Jets isn’t bad enough, could the matchup be more painful?
February 20th – Teams can begin applying franchise and transition tags to players. The Jets have an array of underwhelming free agents with a few solid contributors; Jim Leonhard, Bryan Thomas, Plaxico Burress, and Sione Pouha.
February 22-28 – NFL Combine with Live Coverage on the NFL Network and NFL.com. If you have not taken a few sick days to watch this already, I would highly recommend it. A great watch for the hard core football fan.
March 5th – Deadline for teams to apply franchise and transition tags.
March 13th – Free agency begins at 4pm. Let’s hope for a very busy front office for the New York Jets.
March 25-28 – NFL Owners Meetings in Palm Beach, FL. It doesn’t appear playoff re-seeding will make the agenda this year, but perhaps an additional rule limiting coaches changing teams in the middle of a season might be a hot topic.
March 30-31- Super Regional Combine in Detroit Michigan, this is an invitation only workout opportunity for future NFL draft picks.
Mid April – Off season programs begin. Each team is allowed 10 OTA’s during the off season.
Late April – The Official 2012 NFL schedule will be announced.
April 26-28 – The 2012 NFL Draft, ESPN/NFL Network – Once again round one will be held Thursday night April 26th in prime time as it has become a huge television event. Rounds two and three Friday April 27th and rounds four through 7 Saturday April 28th. Stay tuned to ESPN and NFL Network for full coverage.
Late July – Training camps open round the league.
Early August – The 2012 Pre-season begins.
September 6th – 2012 -NFL season begins at the stadium of the Super Bowl Champion.
As the long wait begins for the 2012 NFL season one thing is certain, it’s a great time to be a fan of the NFL. Follow all the off season information on www.jetnation.com and football Sundays will back before you know it.
As a side note, the 2012 Hall of Fame class is announced February 4th , with the inductions in Canton on the 4th of August. I believe Curtis Martin deserves the honor and it will be bestowed upon him this year. Let’s fill the stands with the green and white and show Curtis Martin how much his effort, performance, and class means to the JetNation.