Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – The lockout may be history, but for the Miami Dolphins, the craziness is just beginning. A process that usually takes four to five months will be compressed to a little more than a week.
So what does the schedule ahead look like for the Dolphins? Take a look below at some key things to watch out for over the next seven days.
Monday, a list of the league’s free agents will be distributed to the league’s general managers. Also Monday, the league will set the roster limit at 90 players heading into training camp. Teams have on average 50 players signed right now, meaning teams can sign 40 players for training camp.
Starting Tuesday, Dolphins players can begin reporting for conditioning drills in preparation for the beginning of training camp.
Also Tuesday, Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland can sign the team’s six draft picks, including first-round draft pick Mike Pouncey, and sign rookie free agents.
Tuesday, Ireland can begin negotiating with Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Tony McDaniel, Patrick Cobbs, Chad Pennington, Tyler Thigpen, Pat McQuistan, Quentin Moses, and Lydon Murtha.
Out of those players, Ricky Williams, Tony McDaniel, and Tyler Thigpen could be at the top of the list for the Dolphins. Quarterback and running back are two of the Dolphins’ most glaring needs.
Also Tuesday, Ireland can begin negotiating, but not signing any other free agents across the league. It will be a similar scene to what the NBA does every year. The first day the Fins can officially sign free agents to contracts will be Friday at 6:00 p.m.
- Click here to read the deal the NFL Players Association agreed to Monday. (Source: SI.com)
- Click here to read the 2011 NFL Calendar
The Fins can begin shedding salary on Thursday, which is the first day to waive or terminate player contracts.
By August 4th, teams will have to be under the salary cap of $120 million for the upcoming season. That will be the first day of the new NFL calendar year. The date could be moved up if the CBA is ratified sooner than then.
When it comes to practice in the preseason, players are limited to physicals and meetings on the first day, which for the Fins will be Tuesday. On the second and third days, there will be no pads or contact allowed.
Past Thursday, the Fins will be limited to one padded practice per day limited to 3 hours. A second practice/walk-through, without pads, will be allowed up to the 4 hour time limit.
The first preseason game for the Miami Dolphins is set for August 12th. The Dolphins open the preseason against the Atlanta Falcons. The team will also play the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys at home along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Dolphins open the regular season on September 12th against the New England Patriots.