The 2020 offseason is in full swing as the calendar turns to January and the Panthers look forward to a full spring of action with a new coaching staff and a new look to the Panthers. Review the dates below to see what's coming up for the Panthers and an NFL that never stops moving forward.
January 25 – This year's Senior Bowl will once again be held in Mobile, Ala. at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. It will mark the first opportunity for Carolina's new coaching staff to watch college players in action.
February 3 – The day after the Super Bowl brings the beginning of the NFL's waiver system anew. The Panthers are 7th in the waiver claim order – based on being 7th in the draft order – and will remain in that spot until early in the 2020 regular season when the order will be based on the NFL standings.
February 25 – This is the first day (March 10 is the deadline) for teams to designate one franchise or transitional player – a tool that prevents a player from hitting the free agent market in March. Typically, the tagged player either signs a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline or plays the upcoming season under the financial terms of the tag.
February 24-March 2 – The annual NFL Scouting Combine will take place in Indianapolis. This is an important week for the Panthers new coaching staff to work with the scouting department to evaluate top prospects based on measurables and the important interview process. Panthers.com will have full written, video and photo coverage from the combine as candidates for the team's 7th overall pick come into focus.
March 16-18 - For three days before free agency begins, clubs are permitted to contact and enter into contract negotiations with agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents. You will see plenty of reports of players agreeing to terms with new teams, but none of it is official until...
March 18, 4:00 p.m. – The start of the 2020 league year. All 2019 player contracts expire at this time and clubs can begin officially signing new free agents. To see which Panthers are set to become free agents if they aren't re-signed before this day, click here.
March 29-April 1 – The NFL's Annual Meeting will be held in Palm Beach, Florida. There is often discussion of rules changes coming out of this meeting and general reports about the state of the NFL.
April 6 - Since Carolina hired a new head coach at the end of the 2019 season, they may begin offseason workout programs at this date, two weeks before clubs with returning coaches.
Mid-April – Typically a week or two before the NFL Draft, the league releases the full 2020 schedule. Fans can go ahead and check out the Panthers opponents now, but the dates and times won't be announced until the full schedule comes out. Carolina's home schedule could be a bit easier (57-69-1 combined record in 2019) than its road slate (70-58 combined record in 2019). Of course, the most important part of the schedule release is the videos that the team releases each year. Many pundits thought the Panthers had one of the top ones in the NFL last year.
April 23-25 – The 2020 NFL Draft from Las Vegas, Nevada. Carolina will pick seventh in the first round, marking the eighth time that the team has had a top 10 pick and third time since 2011 where the Panthers have found Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly and Christian McCaffrey.
April 27 – Beginning on this date, the Panthers may request permission to visit with, try out or sign any player who was under contract to the XFL at the conclusion of the XFL season.
May 1-4 or May 8-11 - As early as May 1, the Panthers may hold the team's rookie minicamp with players from the draft, undrafted free agent signings and tryout players.
Mid-May to mid-June – The offseason workout program kicks into high gear for its final month, with three weeks of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) that resemble training camp practices aside from the absence of live contact. After the 10 OTAs, the program ends with a three-day minicamp that takes essentially the same form aside from being mandatory. OTAs, like the rest of the offseason program, technically are voluntary but tend to draw virtually perfect attendance.
Late July – After a month off for most of July, players and coaches return for 2020 Training Camp, typically beginning in the last week of July and running for three weeks into August with the run-up to preseason games and the start of the 2020 season.