The offseason is upon us. It’s time to really set the scene for what will be happening and when it’ll be happening. Below we have laid out the specific date-by-date schedule for everything this offseason per NFL.com.
February 6 -- Waiver system begins for 2017.
February 11 -- NFL Regional Combines, Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Seattle, Washington.
February 14 -- Beginning at 12 noon, New York time, NFL clubs may begin to sign players whose 2016 CFL contracts have expired. Players under contract to a CFL club for the 2017 season or who have an option for the 2017 season are not eligible to be signed.
February 15 -- First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
February 18 -- NFL Regional Combines, Methodist Training Center, Houston, Texas.
February 25-26* -- NFL Regional Combines, Inova Sports Performance Center, Washington, D.C. (*Kicker/Punter Combine)
February 28-March 6 -- NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.
March 1 -- Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 4 --NFL Regional Combines, Minnesota Vikings Practice Facility, Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
March 7-9 -- 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.
March 9 -- Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2017 on all players who have option clauses in their 2016 contracts.
March 9 -- Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts and to whom they desire to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
March 9 -- Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2016 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.
March 9 -- Top-51 Begins. All clubs must be under the 2017 salary cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.
March 9 -- All 2016 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
March 9 -- 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.
March 9 -- Trading period for 2017 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2016 contracts.
March 11 -- NFL Regional Combines, New Orleans Saints Training Facility, Metairie, Louisiana.
March 26-29 -- Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona.
April 3 -- Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2016 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
April 17 -- Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
April 21 -- Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.
April 27-29 -- 2017 NFL Draft, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
May 5-8 -- Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
May 9 -- Deadline for Prior Club to send "May 9 Tender" to its unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a Player Contract with a club by July 22 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later, he may negotiate or sign a Player Contract from that date until the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, at 4:00 p.m., New York time, only with his Prior Club.
May 12-15 -- Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
May 15 -- Rookie Football Development Programs begin.
May 18-21 -- NFLPA Rookie Premiere. Invited Rookies (typically, first and/or second-round selections) must be permitted by their respective clubs to attend. Such players are unavailable for offseason workouts, OTA days, and minicamps during this period.
May 22-24 -- Spring League Meeting, Chicago, Illinois.
June 1 -- Deadline for Prior Club to send "June 1 Tender" to its unsigned Restricted Free Agents who received a qualifying offer for a Right of First Refusal Only in order for such player to be subject to the CBAâs "June 15 Tender" provision.
June 2 -- For any player removed from the club's roster or whose contract is assigned via waivers or trade on or after June 2, any unamortized signing bonus amounts for future years will be included fully in Team Salary at the start of the 2018 League Year.
June 15 -- Deadline for club to withdraw qualifying offer to Restricted Free Agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting "June 15 Tender" of one-year contract at 110 percent of the player's prior-year Paragraph 5 Salary (with all other terms of his prior-year contract carried forward unchanged).
Late June -- Rookie Transition Program to be held at individual clubs. Attendance is mandatory for all rookies.
July 15 -- At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a oneyear contract with his prior club for the 2017 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club's last regular season game.
Mid-July -- Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players beginning seven days prior to the clubâs earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for veteran players.
Veteran players (defined as a player with at least one pension-credited season) other than quarterbacks or "injured players" (as defined in CBA Article 21, Section 6) may report to a club's preseason training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the club's first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.
Veteran quarterbacks and injured players may be required to report to the club's preseason training camp no earlier than five days immediately prior to the mandatory reporting date for all other veteran players, provided the club has already opened (or simultaneously opens) its official preseason training camp for all rookies and first-year players.
A three-day acclimation period will apply to players who are on a club's roster up to and including the mandatory veteran reporting date. Players who join the roster after that date may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical.
July 22* -- Signing Period ends for unrestricted Free Agents to whom a "May 9 Tender" was made by prior club. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.
* or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later.
July 22 -- Signing Period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.
Going forward from today, the first big thing on the plate is going to be NFL Scouting Combine from February 28th to March 6th. One thing not noted there is that at the Combine, there will be the official coin flips for teams who had identical records during the regular season to see who gets to pick ahead of the other at the draft.
After that, we move into the non-rookie transaction period of the offseason with the Franchise Tag deadline for clubs on March 1st. The real action, however, kicks off on March 7th, when clubs will be allowed to begin discussing and negotiating with Unrestricted Free Agents before the official Free Agency period begins two days later on March 9th. March 9th at 3 p.m. CST is when the new league year begins. It’s also the date upon which teams must tender qualifying offers to restricted free agents and when trading restrictions will also be lifted.
Moving forward, the 2017 NFL Draft is from April 27th to April 29th (SO FAR AWAY). The rest of the calendar is devoted mostly to rookie development camps, with May 12th to May 15th being the dates for the voluntary rookie mini-camps and several other dates devoted to rookie developmental programs. Come mid-July, the real fun begins with training camps opening.
That’s the full schedule (preseason games will come later) for the next several months. Want to complain about how far away the draft is? Join the club and let it out in the comments below!