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  • Tue., Feb. 28, 2017 12:00 AM MST Combine Timing and Testing The Combine begins in Indianapolis and runs through March 6.
  • Wed., Mar. 01, 2017 2:00 PM MST Deadline to designate Francise or Transition Players Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
  • Tue., Mar. 07, 2017 12:00 AM MST Teams may negotiate with their own Unrestricted Free Agents

    During the period beginning at 12 noon, New York time, on March 7th and ending at 3:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9th, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2016 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9.

    During the above two-day negotiating period, no direct contact is permitted between a prospective unrestricted free agent and any employee or representative of a club, other than the player’s current club.

  • Thu., Mar. 09, 2017 12:00 AM MST 2017 League Year and Free Agency begin

    The 2017 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

    The first day of the 2017 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9.

    Trading period for 2017 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2016 contracts.

  • Sun., Mar. 26, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Annual League Meeting Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Mon., Apr. 03, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Clubs with new head coaches may begin offseason workouts Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2016 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
  • Fri., Apr. 21, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.
  • Wed., Apr. 26, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents. Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.
  • Thu., Apr. 27, 2017 12:00 AM MDT 2017 NFL Draft The 2017 NFL Draft begins in Philadelphia and runs through April 29.

Week One Brings Focus, Passion from Players

Posted Sep 3, 2013

Broncos players said that Thursday night's season opener has them focused - and has stirred their passion for playing football.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- It’s only game one.

Fifteen more will follow in the regular season, and a long campaign of new challenges and opportunities will accompany them.

Still, as Broncos players acknowledged on Tuesday, it’s tough to deny that a rematch with the defending Super Bowl-champion Ravens in the season opener burns with a little more intensity. 

“It’s just another game but at the same time I don’t think you can help having a little extra juice for this one and kicking off the season like this, in the first game,” wide receiver Wes Welker said, adding that he’s excited his first game as a Bronco will be under such circumstances.

Defensive end Derek Wolfe noted that the motivation stemming from last season’s 38-35, double-overtime loss to the Ravens in the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs – as well as the questions the Broncos have had to shoulder in the face of recent adversity – have helped elevate the team’s focus for the game.

“Absolutely. Obviously, we have that sour taste in our mouth still from last year,” Wolfe said. “We’ve got something to prove, obviously losing guys and people are kind of questioning our defense, so we have a lot to prove.”

And while it’s difficult to ignore the rematch aspect, safety Rahim Moore said that the level of excellence the Ravens organization has achieved on its own makes playing the Ravens all the more exciting. 

“It’s just a great organization. They did exactly what they did. There’s a reason why they’re the Super Bowl champions,” Moore said. “For me personally, I feel like they don’t have any weaknesses on their defense nor their offense and their special teams. They do a fantastic job and the best team’s going to win on Thursday.”

A return to regular-season football is exhilarating enough, but for rookies like defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, the game holds even more meaning as the first NFL regular-season contests of their lives.  

“For me it’s the biggest game of the year because it’s the next one up. That’s how I approach every game,” Williams said. “At this point it’s the biggest one of my life. At this point it’s the most important thing in my life – to go out there and playing well Thursday and being able to win that game and do everything I can to help my team.”

Still, despite the fanfare surrounding the game, it’s ultimately a regular-season contest that will count the same way in the standings regardless of who the opponent is – as cornerback Chris Harris acknowledged.

“I’m treating it just like another game. It’s the Ravens, it’s the defending champs, of course we know that,” Harris said. “We know the magnitude of this game but I turn into a different person regardless of who we play. I treat it the same and that’s how I stay even keel. I try to keep it even keel and that’s how I play.”

Harris noted that, whatever the outcome, both teams will move forward with their seasons once the dust settles on Thursday night.

“It’s just the first game, it’s the first game of the season. Whoever wins or loses this game has to strap it on the next week,” he said. “We’re just looking at it as this is our opponent this week and we’re getting ready for them.”

For Wolfe, it ultimately comes down to basics – simply playing the very game of football that they’ve played throughout their lives. 

“Well, everybody has to remember that it’s just football,” he said. “We’ve been playing this game a long time and it’s just another game. As long as you go out there and do your job, you can’t be tight – you have to be loose and just let it all out and you’ll be fine.”

And simply having the opportunity to step back on the field for another NFL season is perhaps most stirring for players like Moore.

In pondering what he’ll feel when the game kicks off on Thursday night, Moore noted that his gratefulness for being able to play professional football might be the most powerful sensation.

“I might be crying. I’m an emotional guy when it comes to (playing football),” he said. “I’m just happy to be out there because you never know when it’s going to be your last day on this earth, on the field. You never know. Tomorrow is never promised, man. I’ll be excited, I’ll be happy and I’m going to embrace it when it comes to things like that.”