There are only four teams still fighting for the 2018 lives at this point in the season, which means 28 other teams are looking forward to the 2019 season.
That means they are thinking about free agents and draft picks, really anything that could improve their team so they are still playing this time next season.
The NFL is very particular about when certain things happen during the offseason. One such thing is when team are permitted to talk to upcoming free agents, and when teams with new head coaches are allowed to start training camp.
Here are some of the most important dates for the 2019 offseason:
February 3: Super Bowl LIII, Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, Georgia)
February 19: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players
February 26 - March 4: NFL Scouting Combine (Lucas Oil Stadium - Indianapolis, Indiana)
March 5: Deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players
March 11: Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations, with the agents of pending Unrestricted Free Agents on other teams. Often referred to as the “legal tampering period.”
March 13: New League Year and Free Agency Begins at 4 p.m.
All players, whose contracts expire this offseason, will officially do so.
Top-51 Rule begins, which means all clubs must be under the 2019 Salary Cap. However, only the top-51 salaries are counted against the cap until rosters are paired down to 53 in September.
Teams may begin signing free agents from other teams.
Teams may officially begin trading players still under contract for the 2019 season.
Prior to 4 p.m on March 13: Clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
Clubs must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2018 contracts who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.
March 24 - 27: Annual League/Owners Meetings (Phoenix, Arizona)
April 1: Clubs that hired a new head coach (this includes the Bengals) after the end of the 2018 regular season may begin offseason workout programs
April 15: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs
April 19: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets with other clubs.
Mid-April (Date TBD): Full NFL regular season schedule released
April 25: First Round of the 2019 NFL Draft (Nashville, Tennessee)
April 26: Second and Third Rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft
April 27: Fourth - Seventh Rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft
May 3-6 or May 10-13: Rookie mini-camps may be held (teams can choose which of these dates they prefer, but not both)