With the crowning of the Kansas City Chiefs as the repeat NFL Super Bowl Champions Sunday night, the official NFL 2024 offseason has now begun. The Giants have had a full one-month head start on this offseason. But, starting next Tuesday, things get real.

Here are the upcoming dates on the NFL calendar and what they mean:

  • Feb. 20: Teams can designate franchise/transition players 
  • Feb. 27-March 4: NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis 
  • March 5: Deadline to offer franchise/transition tenders
  • March 11-13: Free-agent negotiating window opens 
  • March 13: 2024 League Year opens at 4 p.m. ET; teams can begin trading or signing players
  • March 24-27: Annual league meeting in Orlando, Florida 
  • April 1: Teams with a first-year head coach can begin offseason workouts 
  • April 15: Teams with a returning head coach can begin offseason workouts 
  • April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets 
  • April 25-27: NFL draft in Detroit
  • May 2: Deadline for teams to pick up fifth-year option for 2021 first-round draft picks 
  • May 3-6 or May 10-13: Three-day rookie minicamp 
  • May 20-22: Spring league meeting

For the Giants and GM Joe Schoen, March 5th could be the first of the important dates of their offseason.  That is the final day the team can franchise tag a player.  Two key players to watch are RB Saquon Barkley, who was tagged last year, and S Xavier McKinney, eligible for the tag for the first time this year.  

For Barkley, the RB franchise tag is estimated to be $12.4M (as per Over the Cap) in 2024, a modest increase from his $11M one-year deal in 2023.  Saquon has made no secret of his distaste of the business side of the NFL last offseason.  He has been vocal that he still wants to be a Giant for life.  But, he also will clearly be ready to test the market if the Giants let him.  This will be a tough situation for Joe Schoen to navigate.  Saquon is the most popular Giant player among fans and teammates, and responsible for most of the Giants’ offense.  But, he is a running back which the NFL seems to value less and less with each new season–even though he catches more passes than most Giants wide receivers.

For McKinney, the Safety franchise tag is estimated to be $17.2M in 2024.  Xavier played every snap for the Giants in 2023, led the team in interceptions, and is regarded as a top safety in the NFL.  While he had his run-ins with former DC Wink Martindale, he could be a huge impact player under new DC Shane Bowen.  Bowen’s schemes favor safeties as “centerfielders” that roam free and play opportunistic defense.  Xavier was not approached by Schoen during the 2023 season to discuss an extension.  I imagine he’ll be a prime target to lock up as a Giant in 2024.

 

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