An NFL season never really ends anymore, it just changes from the games played on the field to those played off it.
For the Seahawks, the switch in focus happened earlier than they would have liked.
But now that the offseason has arrived, here is a look at some key dates, as well as a refresher on the teams the Seahawks will play in 2020.
Jan. 25-26 — Senior Bowl/Pro Bowl. While coach Pete Carroll and his staff will coach the Pro Bowl in Orlando next week (with Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner having been selected to play, though Wagner said he might bow out due to injuries), general manager John Schneider and other scouts will be at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Teams already have lots of info on players who will be available for the 2020 draft, but the Senior Bowl begins to kick the evaluation into another gear. (It’s been said Wilson’s performance during Senior Bowl week only further heightened the Seahawks’ interest in him.)
Feb. 7 — Wilson’s $18 million salary for 2020 becomes fully guaranteed, as does Wagner’s base salary of $10.75 million, according to Spotrac.com.
Feb. 11 — NFL teams can sign players from the Canadian Football League whose contracts have expired. You never know.
Feb. 24- March 2 — NFL combine, Indianapolis. The dates of the on-field workouts are Feb. 27, Feb. 28, Feb. 29 and March 1. Will Carroll again rip off his shirt when a prospect walks through the door for an official interview with the team? Will the Seahawks ask a player to engage in a staring contest? The mind wonders. Coaches and GMs also are scheduled to meet the media there Feb. 25, and Carroll and Schneider typically have talked to reporters in Indy.
Feb. 25 — This is the first day for clubs to designate impending unrestricted free agents as franchise or transition players. Seattle has promised Jadeveon Clowney he will not get the franchise tag. That would seem to make defensive tackle Jarran Reed the only player Seattle might consider for either. The tag deadline is March 10.
March 16 — The first day teams can contact and enter into contract negotiations with agents of unrestricted free agents from other teams. Teams can re-sign their own UFAs at any time.
March 18 — Unrestricted free agents can officially sign deals with new teams at 1 p.m. Pacific time. Clowney’s status figures to be settled by this date, if not earlier. This also is the day that marks the beginning of the new league year.
March 22 — Both Duane Brown and K.J. Wright have $1 million roster bonuses due, meaning if for any reason the team were to make a move with either, it would happen by this date. Kicker Jason Myers also has $1.5 million of his $2.6 million base salary for 2020 fully guaranteed on this date, according to Spotrac.com.
March 29-April 1 — The annual league meeting in Palm Beach, Fla. If coaches want to push for some tweaks to the rulebook, this is typically when they do it.
April 20 — When the Seahawks can begin their official offseason workout program.
April 23-25 — NFL draft. The Seahawks currently have the 27th selection in the first round. But will they use it? Maybe so given Seattle also has two second-round picks, meaning the Seahawks could have three of the top 64 choices. Seattle’s maneuvering last year gave it that exact same haul — three of the first 64 picks, which it used on L.J. Collier, Marquise Blair and DK Metcalf.
April 27 — On this date, NFL teams can ask to visit with, try out or sign players who were under contract with the XFL at the end of the season.
May 1-4 or May 5-8 — Teams can hold their rookie minicamps on one of those two weekends.
Mid-May — Teams can begin holding OTAs, or organized team activities, with a three-day minicamp to follow at some point in mid-June.
Late July — Training camp — and a whole new season — begins.
Looking ahead to 2020 schedule
Could the Seahawks go international again in 2020?
And whom will the Seahawks begin preparing for when training camp begins?
Here are Seattle’s opponents:
Home — Arizona, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco, Dallas, New York Giants, New England, New York Jets, Minnesota.
Road — Arizona, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco, Washington, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Buffalo.
Last year, the dates, times and TV affiliations for games were announced April 17, and it will probably happen around that time again this year, too.
One big thing of note is that BOTH Atlanta and Miami already have been announced as hosting games in either London or Mexico City in 2020, meaning Seattle could well be going international again.
(Both Atlanta and Miami apparently agreed to give up a home game to play internationally as part of their hopes to be a host of future Super Bowls.)
Seattle has played internationally only once, beating the Raiders in London in 2018.
But the Seahawks enjoyed the experience, and the trip wouldn’t be a whole lot longer, anyway. It’s thought that Seattle would be just fine with going international again, likely getting its bye week again after the trip, as it did in 2018.
Last year, the international games were announced Jan. 20.
So, something to watch.