The LA Chargers are entering one of the most important offseasons in franchise history. After a 9-8 finish in the first season of the Justin Herbert-Brandon Staley duo, the Chargers have 11 draft picks and a lot of cap space to spend.
It is crucial that the Chargers not only capitalize on having a top-five quarterback in the NFL but also capitalize on him being on his rookie contract. The Bengals did so last offseason and they made the Super Bowl. The Chargers should take notes.
There are some important dates that every Charger fan should know about as the team treks through this ever-so-important offseason.
Important NFL dates to know throughout the LA Chargers offseason:
Franchise tag window opens - February 22
Teams can begin doling out the franchise tag on Tuesday, February 22 and have until March 8 to do so. This is important for two reasons. First, Mike Williams' future with the team might be decided by the franchise tag as well as the team's chance to potentially sign Davante Adams.
2022 NFL Combine - March 1
The NFL Combine is officially set to begin on March 1 from Lucas Oil Stadium. The combine will last just under a week, concluding its final day of action on March 7.
Legal tampering window opens - March 14
Starting at noon Eastern time on March 14, teams will be able to contact agents and enter contract negotiations for upcoming free agents. What is known as the "legal tampering window" before free agency begins, a lot of deals are made during this time. The legal tampering window ends on March 16 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern, which leads us to...
Free agency opens and the 2022 league year begins - March 16
As soon as the legal tampering window closes on March 16, the 2022 NFL league year begins. This represents the start of free agency as well as the official beginning of trades between teams, although teams can agree to handshake deals before this date.
Annual league meeting - March 27
The 2022 league meeting will begin on March 27 and last until March 30 from Palm Beach, Florida. If there are any sort of rule changes (like the overtime rules) it will happen in these three days.
Workouts begin - April 18
The Chargers can officially start offseason workouts together on April 18. Teams that hired a new head coach this offseason can begin offseason workouts on April 4.
Last day to bring draft prospects in for a physical - April 20
Last day for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets - April 22
Last day for teams to exercise Right of First Refusal on RFA - April 27
Last day to interview draft prospects - April 27
2022 NFL Draft - April 28
The 2022 NFL Draft is coming from Las Vegas and will begin on Thursday, April 28. The draft will run for three days. The LA Chargers have the 17th overall pick as well at 11 selections.
The dates for training camp have not yet been announced but based on yearly trends, Charger fans should expect camp to start on the Tuesday of the last week of July, which this year, would be July 26.
As long as the NFL does not push back the schedule, the Chargers' first game of 2022 should be on Sunday, September 7. Let the countdown begin.