Morning Tailgate: 2014 Offseason Begins

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Following the result of Sunday's Super Bowl, it's now time for the 2014 offseason to officially begin.

That means everyone is 0-0 and wide-eyed on reaching the ultimate prize, Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz.

That group of motivated players includes seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Joe Staley. San Francisco's defensive captain posted a picture of himself back in workout mode.

I took a couple of weeks to myself to wind down from the season! All that's over now, time to get back to the grind … http://t.co/dQAHslHdCJ — Patrick Willis (@PatrickWillis52) February 3, 2014

Rest assured several of Willis' teammates are in the same frame of mind. But before the offseason gets fully into swing, here's a look at the key dates on the calendar:

Feb. 3
Waiver system begins.

Feb. 17 
Teams can begin designated free agents as "franchise players."

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Feb. 19-25** 
Scouting Combine – Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis.

March 8-11 
Teams can begin negotiating – but can't finalize a contract – with the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents at 1 p.m. PT on March 11. Before this time, teams must:

  • exercise 2014 option clauses in the 2013 contracts of players.
  • submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents.
  • submit a minimum salary tender to retain negotiating rights with players who have expiring contracts and less than three full seasons of experience.
  • be under the 2014 salary cap.

March 11Free agency begins.

March 23-26Annual owners meeting – Orlando, Fla.

More 49ers headlines can be found in today's Morning Tailgate, presented by State Farm.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com discussed what the 49ers need to do to overtake the Seahawks. Bill Williamson of ESPN.com looked at San Francisco's draft needs.

NinersNation.com shared the 49ers odds of winning Super Bowl XLIX.

49ers.com offered a photo gallery of the best images shot by team photographer Terrell Lloyd in 2013.

CLIP OF THE DAY:

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First day back in the gym! #TimeToDoWork — Kendall Hunter (@KendallHunter32) February 3, 2014

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