Raiders' dates to keep in mind through April

February 28, 2012, 9:08 pm
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Can't get enough football news in general, Raiders updates in particular, now that the Combine is over? Pull out your calendar and a pen. Some important dates for Raiders fans to keep in mind through AprilMonday, March 5 -- Deadline at 1 p.m. PT for teams to utilize the franchisetransition tag on a player (SS Tyvon Branch, which would cost the Raiders between approximately 6.22 million and 6.459 million? RB Michael Bush, estimated to be between 7.778 million and 8.088 million? No one?).Saturday, March 10 -- Commitment to Excellence Dinner at Oakland Airport Hilton, free agent RB Rock Cartwright to be honored for second consecutive year.Tuesday, March 13 -- The start of the new league year. Teams must be in compliance of the salary cap, thought to be around 121 million for 2012 (the Raiders are reportedly some 11 million over at the moment), and unrestricted free agency and trades begin at 1 p.m. PT. Also, deadline for qualifying offers to retain exclusive negotiating rights for players with less than three accrued seasons.Thursday, March 15 -- FS Michael Huff's 4-million roster bonus reportedly due.Saturday, March 17 -- LB Kamerion Wimbley's 11-million base salary reportedly becomes guaranteed. Also, deadline for qualifying offers to retain right of first refusal of restricted free agents whose contracts are expired and, as such, the restricted free agent signing period begins.RELATED: Taking stock of Raiders' free agents
Monday, March 26-Wednesday, March 28 -- NFL owners meetings.Late March -- NFL awards compensatory picks for draft based on free-agent losses the year prior, and with the Raiders having lost the likes of CB Nnamdi Asomugha, LG Robert Gallery, TE Zach Miller and LB Thomas Howard, they could wind up with as many as three selections, including a third-rounder. Currently, Oakland only has a fifth-round and a sixth-round selection at its disposal after trades.Monday, April 2 -- Date on which new coach Dennis Allen can meet with the Raiders as a complete team for the first time. Offseason workout program begins under new strength and conditioning coach Al Miller.Early-mid April -- NFL announces schedule, and with the first anniversary of Al Davis' death of Oct. 8 falling on a Monday, wouldn't it make sense for the league to put the Raiders on Monday Night Football that day?Thursday, April 26 -- First round of the NFL draft (Oakland traded away its first-round pick for QB Carson Palmer).Friday, April 27 -- Second and third rounds of the NFL draft (Oakland traded away its second- and third-rounders for picks that became OL Joe Barksdale and Taiwan Jones, and Terrelle Pryor, respectively).Saturday, April 28 -- Fourth through seventh rounds of the NFL draft (Oakland traded away its fourth-rounder for QB Jason Campbell, holds its fifth- (No. 141 overall) and sixth-round (No. 174 overall) selections and traded its seventh-rounder for LB Aaron Curry).