There are already some players who come in to the facility to use the weight room and begin the process of prepping for the new season, but the official start of the voluntary strength and conditioning program starts April 21. From there, it'll be a whirlwind program for players before it wraps up with the lone mandatory part of the offseason -- minicamp -- June 10-12, according to the offseason dates released by the team Thursday.
The annual Fan Fest will be held on the opening day of minicamp, June 10, at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Key dates for the Cards are as follows:
-- Strength and conditioning April 21. Only strength and conditioning coaches allowed.
-- Players allowed on-field football work with coaching (no helmets, no contact, no offense vs. defense) May 5.
-- OTAs run from May 20-22, May 27-29, June 2-5. Helmets allowed, as is offense vs. defense.
-- Rookie minicamp May 23-25.
-- Minicamp June 10-12.
The draft is May 8-10, so the rookies will be behind their teammates compared to every other season (usually the draft is held in late April).
After minicamp, the coaches and players will scatter for time off before training camp and the beginning of the 2014 season. The lone mandatory function for veterans is the final minicamp.
The annual charity golf tournament with the team will be held April 23 at Whirlwind Golf Club.
The Cardinals will also hold a "Spring Tailgate" at the outset of the annual Big Red Rib and Music Festival at University of Phoenix Stadium April 24. The team is hosting a live TV special, as team president Michael Bidwill, general manager Steve Keim, and coach Bruce Arians preview the 2014 Draft and season with hosts Paul Calvisi and Ron Wolfley. There will be players in attendance. The tailgate is scheduled from 5-9 p.m.