Kansas City Chiefs: 2017 Offseason Calendar

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry

Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2017 NFL season officially in the books, we take a look at what lies ahead for the Kansas City Chiefs in the offseason.

Last night saw the () win the 51st NFL Super Bowl. It was a game that was bittersweet for many Kansas City Chiefs fans as our team certainly had a chance to be there. The Chiefs 2016 campaign was an impressive and exciting one that saw a lot of close finishes. However, KC’s postseason performance ended in a disappointing loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. That’s left many Chiefs fans in offseason mode for a while now. However, we are now officially in the NFL offseason.

The NFL offseason can be tricky to follow for many fans. There is no shortage of important events that occur all throughout the spring and summer. Some of these events, like the NFL Draft, get tons of coverage. Others, like the start of the signing period for CFL players, get practically none. Here at KC Kingdom though, we are going to do our best to keep you informed as to what is coming.

From great to small, there is nothing that we won’t cover for you here. However, I know that many of our readers won’t necessarily know when to expect the next big event. So I’ve got you set up for success with the 2017 NFL Offseason Calendar.

Aaron Leming doesn’t quite have it right there, and that’s why I’m coming to your rescue. Here are all of the important dates for Chiefs fans to remember in the 2017 NFL offseason…

Kansas City Chiefs safety Ron Parker

Kansas City Chiefs free safety Ron Parker. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

2017 Waiver Wire Opens: February 6th

Yes Kansas City Chiefs fans, as you read this the 2017 NFL offseason has already begun. As of today, the waiver wire system is up and running for the 2017 season. This is something that doesn’t get a lot of attention because it is rare that it would be used so early. Simply put, there is very little value in waiving a player now without even getting to workouts.

However, down the road this system will be heavily utilized. That is especially true for teams that finished the 2016 season with the worst records. Those organizations will have first crack at the wire. The Chiefs, on the other hand, will be at the back end of the waiver wire. That means KC is unlikely to land many quality players through the waiver system. It is possible though.

Of course, the Chiefs first made fans aware of the power of the waiver wire in 2013. That season John Dorsey would place claims on Ron Parker, Jaye Howard, and Dezman Moses who all saw time with the team this year. There were several other quality waiver claims that season, and several more since then. Of course, without the first overall priority, like we had in 2013, it’s unlikely to get similar results.

Kansas City Chiefs Weston Dressler

Kansas City Chiefs Weston Dressler. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

Canadian Football League Free Agency: February 14

Probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of NFL Free Agency is when certain players can be signed. However, the Kansas City Chiefs have repeatedly shown their understanding of these dates. That is especially true of when they are able to sign free agents from the Canadian Football League.

Over the past few years, GM John Dorsey has shown a willingness to give opportunities to players north of the border. Most notably, that occurred in 2014 when the Chiefs signed star CFL receiver Weston Dressler. Of course, Dressler would fail to make the Chiefs roster out of Training Camp, but the move cemented Dorsey’s reputation as a “no stone unturned” GM.

In fact, the Kansas City Chiefs would try again with the CFL in 2016 by targeting receiver Duron Carter. The former Ohio State player, and son of NFL Hall of Famer Chris Carter, ended up not signing with the Chiefs. However, the interest in Carter further shows how the Chiefs value the importance of scouting every avenue. That means dates like this are important.

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

Franchise Tag Period: February 15 – March 1st

As the Kansas City Chiefs head towards the start of Free Agency, the most pressing thought is of Eric Berry. Last season, the Chiefs were unable to come to terms on a contract and had to use the Franchise Tag on the star safety. Most of Chiefs Kingdom hopes that a deal will be done this year, but we will know a lot about that during the Franchise Tag period.

The Chiefs have been one of the teams to get the most use out of the Franchise Tag in recent years. Besides Eric Berry, the team has also used the tag on Justin Houston and Branden Albert. Of course, both of those scenarios had very different endings. So there isn’t much we know about how the team will handle Eric Berry.

Also a potential recipient of the Franchise Tag is defensive tackle Dontari Poe. From my point of view, using the tag on Poe would make far less financial sense than on Eric Berry. However, I also believe it is more important to sign Berry long-term. As for his own point of view, Eric Berry has already made it clear that he has no intention of playing on the Franchise Tag in 2017.

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Ramik Wilson

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Ramik Wilson. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

NFL Combine: March 3rd – 6th

There is probably no more over-hyped or misunderstood event in the NFL offseason than The Combine. However, that won’t stop Kansas City Chiefs fans, along with the rest of the league, from checking it out. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a very important event. It’s just really not that important for the reasons that people think.

Very few decisions are made based on the numbers that will be put up at The Combine. Simply put, if a guy runs fast in these workouts, it probably meant he was running fast on game tape as well. There just isn’t a lot to learn about these guys physically.

However, The Combine does present an opportunity to watch how players perform the drills. That can tell quite a bit. Players coming off of injury will also have a chance to demonstrate their health. Most importantly though, teams will have opportunities to sit down with prospects and talk to them. That is where the most value comes from.

Oh, and yes, I will be watching along with the rest of you and marveling at the numbers. Just can’t help it.

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

Legal Tampering: March 7th – 9th

Ah yes, Kansas City Chiefs fans are plenty familiar with the NFL’s Legal Tampering period. Of course, that is for the wrong reasons. Namely, the Chiefs were hammered for tampering outside of the approved dates when they made their pitch for receiver Jeremy Maclin. The NFL came down hard, and completely unfairly, on the Chiefs for getting caught doing what every team does.

The whole notion of “legal tampering” is ridiculous in the first place. It is literally declaring cheating to be acceptable. Then the NFL gets all worked up when teams cheat when the league says it isn’t acceptable. However, for this three day period, NFL analysts like Ian Rappoport, Adam Schefter, and Jason LaCanfora will be all over Twitter with rumors. It’s actually a lot of fun.

It’s unclear just how active the Chiefs will be in Free Agency this year, but we should get a good idea during this three day window. If KC is connected to multiple players, we can expect a busy offseason. If not, then don’t get your hopes up over a lot of big additions. I’m guessing we should expect the latter.

Fantasy Football: Kansas City Chiefs receiver Albert Wilson

Kansas City Chiefs receiver Albert Wilson. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

Start Of League Year: March 9th

When it comes to contractual status of NFL players, March 9th is the big date. This is when the Kansas City Chiefs, and every other team, will have to make a lot of their big decisions. Contracts expire, the Top 51 salary rule goes into effect, restricted free agent tenders are due, and a host of other important decisions must happen.

How important is this day? Well back in 2013 (March 14th), the Denver Broncos lost a star pass rusher and Elvis Dumervil lost $8 million because of the 4:00 pm (EST) deadline. That “fax faux pas” is now an example for all NFL front offices to hammer home how important the NFL offseason calendar is.

For the Chiefs, this day will mark the deadline for decisions on players like Cairo Santos, Daniel Sorensen, and Albert Wilson. Of course, that assumes these players aren’t signed ahead of time. Last year the Chiefs didn’t make much use of their tenders, instead choosing to sign players to new contracts. We shall see if that carries over to this year.

Kansas City Chiefs tackle Mitchell Schwartz

Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

Free Agency Begins: March 9th

As of 4:00 pm (EST) on March 9th, the Kansas City Chiefs (along with the rest of the league) will be free to sign any available player on the market. This is a fast and furious period for the first few days. Big names will begin switching teams. There will be tons of news to follow, and plenty more to ignore. It’s one of the most exciting periods of the NFL offseason.

The Chiefs role in Free Agency this year remains to be seen. Each year has seen John Dorsey become less and less aggressive in going after free agents. Of course, that is largely due to his early success in this area, and in using other means to build a strong roster. Now Dorsey is able to embrace the mantra of his mentor Ron Wolf who favored building from within.

However, Kansas City may still make a splash or two. The team did add tackle Mitchell Schwartz in 2016. That was considered a major move as Schwartz is thought to be one of the top right tackles in the NFL. However, apart from that move, the Chiefs really didn’t do a lot that would excite fans. So we shall see what approach is taken this year.

Kansas City Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt

Kansas City Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

Annual League Meetings: March 26th – 29th

It won’t get as much coverage as it should, but big decisions will be made when Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt meets with his fellow owners in March. During this time, we can expect to see some major storylines develop. First and foremost of those will be whether or not the Raiders are able to relocate their franchise.

Also discussed during these meetings are things like compensatory picks, league schedules, international games, and other behind the scenes aspects. In truth, a lot of what we see on Sundays is decided upon during the league meetings.

The Chiefs will likely make their annual pitch to host a Super Bowl, and possibly an NFL Draft as well. Clark Hunt has been trying for some time to get the NFL championship to come to Kansas City. With the league now hosting the NFL Draft in various cities, it’s hard to imagine that Hunt won’t make a pitch for that as well.

Kansas City Chiefs Andy Reid

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

Offseason Workouts May Begin: April 17th

Since the signing of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), NFL teams are very restricted in how much work they can put in during the offseason. That means the Kansas City Chiefs have to be smart about when they hold their offesason workouts. Officially, those workouts can begin on April 17th. However, like most teams, the Chiefs will wait until after the draft.

We won’t know until later just when the Chiefs do plan on holding their offseason workouts. This will be the first opportunity for the team leadership to see what the organization will look like for 2017. Player evaluations, scheme changes, and many other important parts of the decision making process will take place during this time.

Offseason workouts can be boring for fans to follow. The players aren’t in pads, there is no real hitting going on, and for the most part everyone is just learning. However, it is football and that will drive many to follow along.

Kansas City Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen

KC Chiefs defensive back Daniel Sorensen – Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

Deadline For Restricted Free Agent Tenders: April 21st

The deadline for a player to sign their Restricted Free Agent (RFA) tender usually comes and goes without fanfare. These are players who have relatively no choice in what they do. For the Kansas City Chiefs, that includes guys like Daniel Sorensen and Cairo Santos. Both players are possible targets for an RFA designation.

For the team, this is a great tool that allows them to keep a young player without paying a big contract. For the player, this is an all or nothing situation that holds them hostage. The options for a player with an RFA tender is to either sign and play or don’t sign and miss the season. Of course, if the player sits out the season, they don’t get credit for it and are eligible for the tender again the next year.

I highly doubt we run into this situation with anyone in the Chiefs organization this year. John Dorsey has shown that he is more than willing to sign players instead of tendering them. So unless any of our eligible players have bigger things in mind, everything should go off without a hitch.

Kansas City Chiefs 2016 draft pick Chris Jones

Kansas City Chiefs 2016 draft pick Chris Jones. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

2017 NFL Draft: April 27th – 29th

For me, there is no offseason event more exciting to cover for the Kansas City Chiefs than the NFL Draft. The intrigue, the drama, the anticipation, it grabs my attention every single year. For those of you who don’t know, KC Kingdom is already going in depth with our draft coverage for this year. Be sure to check out our Draft Boards, Mock Drafts, and Scouting Reports throughout the offseason.

There is still plenty of time left before the 2017 NFL Draft, but that doesn’t mean the news won’t be flowing. Outside of the season itself, there may not be an NFL event that gets more coverage than the draft. There are people who have built entire careers on covering this event.

The Chiefs look to be going into the draft with quite a few picks this year. With the roster as strong as it is, there is a very good chance that we will see John Dorsey get aggressive with his extra picks. Of course, the thing on everyone’s mind is whether or not the Chiefs will get their quarterback of the future.

May 12, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive backs Sanders Commings (34) Durrell Givens (40) run drills during the rookie mini camp at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

Rookie Minicamp: May 5th – 8th or 12th – 15th

The first glimpses of the 2017 Kansas City Chiefs roster will come when the rookies take the field for practice. The NFL gives two options for when teams can hold their Rookie Minicamps. There doesn’t appear to be much difference if choosing May 5th – 8th or 12th – 15th. Of course, every team has their own way of doing things.

Rookie Minicamps are an introduction to the NFL for the newest batch of professional football players. Here, draft picks and undrafted free agents will get an opportunity to showcase themselves to their new coaches and teammates. It will be their first chance to get a real look at an NFL playbook and to face other NFL talent.

Not everyone who gets an invite to the minicamp will get a shot in the NFL. I actually got to sit down with a player who went through last year’s Chiefs minicamp. Wide receiver Brandon Eakins didn’t end up getting a Training Camp invite, but was there for Rookie Minicamp. While this minicamp is just a path for some players, it is very much the end of the road for others.

Kansas City Chiefs chief executive officer and chairman Clark Hun

Kansas City Chiefs chief executive officer and chairman Clark Hunt. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

Spring League Meeting: May 22nd – 24th

To cap off the frenzied first half of the NFL offseason, the owners and other league officials will hold another round of meetings. Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt will have another chance to sell KC as a destination for a Super Bowl or NFL Draft. However, there will again be important league business conducted at these meetings.

This is where things will be finalized for the 2017 NFL season, and where planning begins for the 2018 campaign. Deals will be struck and move will be made, all of which will affect what we see on Sundays without us knowing it.

The interesting part about this year’s round of meetings is that there doesn’t appear to be any major scandal drawing the attention. There won’t be any Goodell vs Kraft storyline for sports writers to focus on. That may make for a rather boring set of meetings.

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

Training Camp: Mid July – August 2nd

That time of year when thousands of Kansas City Chiefs fans will head out to St Joseph, Missouri to watch football practice. At this point of the year, we are all just so football starved that watching guys run through drills is worth the effort. You could make a real argument that football is a drug, and training camp crowds would show a clear sign of addiction.

Sure, there are a number of folks who just want the chance to meet the players or take their kids out to a fun event…but I’m not letting them off the hook quite yet. It’s still going out in (often) 100 degree heat to watch a football practice. That takes a special kind of dedication that can’t be healthy.

In case you can’t already tell, I’m bitter that I probably won’t be able to make it out this year.

However, this really is a great opportunity to get an early introduction to the Kansas City Chiefs. The team that develops in training camp is what we will be seeing during the regular season. So of course it is only natural that we’re all intrigued by that.

Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium

Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

Hall of Fame Game/NFL Preseason: August 3rd – September 6th

Finally some real football. Well, not quite as it’s just a scrimmage. Also, it is very unlikely that the Kansas City Chiefs will get the nod for the Hall of Fame Game. The Chiefs haven’t played in this exhibition since 2003, and have only appeared in the game three times in it’s history. The NFL always tries to get teams that will draw the largest audience for their preseason opener.

This game will mark the beginning of the 2017 NFL preseason. Teams will use these scrimmage games as opportunity to decide who goes and who stays on their rosters. Along the way, we will see injuries and suspensions pop up, but very little in the way of exciting football.

Though preseason games mean absolutely nothing when it comes to the scoreboard, you can learn a lot about the team. Watching the Chiefs in preseason this past year showed some early deficiencies, especially in stopping the run. If you know what to look for, this can be a very educational experience.

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs 2017 NFL Offseason Guide

Start Of Regular Season: September 7th

It probably won’t be the Kansas City Chiefs kicking off the 2017 NFL season on September 7th. I would imagine that honor will go to the Patriots and Falcons. However, that Thursday will still mark the beginning of the season for the Chiefs and the rest of the league. Is February too early to be thinking about Opening Day? I don’t think so.

Obviously we have a lot to go through before we know what kind of team Kansas City will be putting on the field. However, there is going to be a ton of excitement based on what we have seen over the past several years. Chiefs fans are hungry for a championship, and it sounds like the team is too.

Of course, you can say that of just about any team in the NFL. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be much of a league. However, Chiefs fans felt that this year’s team had a chance to go all the way (and they did). Barring any monumental, and unforeseen, losses in the offseason, that should continue to be the case in 2017. Who’s ready for some football?

The Kansas City Chiefs ended the 2016 season on a sour note, but that just has me all the more fired up for next year. Chiefs Kingdom has witnessed this team improve steadily each year under the Andy Reid and John Dorsey leadership. We expect that to continue in 2017 and beyond. This offseason will be vital in seeing that come to fruition.

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