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Important 2019 NFL off-season dates

These are the important dates to add to your calendar

The NFL is in the midst of the 2019 NFL off-season, even while some teams are still playing. Here are the important dates and times to remember from now until the opening weekend.

January 14

Deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL Draft.

January 18

List of draft-eligible players is released to NFL teams.

January 19

East-West Shrine Game and NFLPA Bowl held, highlighting draft-eligible players.

January 26

Senior Bowl is held, highlighting collegiate players before the draft.

January 27

Pro Bowl

February 3

Super Bowl LIII

February 4

Waiver system begins for 2019. Vested veterans don’t need to pass through waiver wire anymore. Waiver claim order set in reverse draft order.

February 19

First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

Feb. 26-March 4

NFL Scouting Combine

March 5

Deadline to designate Franchise or Transition Players for clubs is 4:00 p.m., Eastern

March 11-13

Free agency’s “legal tampering window” opens and teams may contact free agents and agents regarding contracts for 2019.

March 13 - Start of the new league year

By 4:00 p.m. Eastern, teams must exercise any 2019 contract options, tender restricted free agents and exclusive rights free agents, and all teams must be under the salary cap using the Top-51 rule (where only the top 51 cap hits count).

At 4:00 p.m. Eastern, teams may begin filing free agent contracts with the league.

At 4:00 p.m. Eastern, teams may begin trading players.

March 24-27

Annual League Meeting

April 1

Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2018 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.

April 15

Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

April 19

Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.

April 25-27

2019 NFL Draft in Nashville

May 3-6 or May 10-13

Rookie mini camps may be held over three consecutive days during these time frames.

May 13

Rookie Football Development Programs begin.

May 16-19

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 off-season workouts, OTA days, and mini camps during this period.

May 20-22

Spring League Meeting

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 2020 league year.

June 3

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 CBA’s “June 15 Tender” provision.

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 2019 rookies.

July 15

Deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension is 4:00 p.m. Eastern. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2019 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.


Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players beginning seven days prior to the club’s 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 rejoin the roster after that date may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical.

July 22* or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later.

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.

August 1

Hall of Fame Game, Canton, Ohio.

August 1-4

Hall of Fame Weekend, Canton, Ohio.

August 6

Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an accrued season for free agency. If a drafted rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he cannot be traded to any other club in 2019, and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the Draft in the 2020 league year.

August 31

Roster cut-down day. Teams need to be at 53 players by 4:00 p.m. Eastern. Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53, clubs that have players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options: place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non- Football Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; request waivers; terminate contract; trade contract; or continue to count the player on the Active List.

September 1

Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at 12:00 noon, Eastern.

Upon receipt of the Personnel Notice at approximately 1:00 p.m., New York time, clubs may establish a practice squad of 10 players (clubs participating in the International Player Development Program may sign one additional international player to a Practice Player Contract.) No club, including the player’s prior club, will be permitted to sign a player to a practice player contract until all clubs have received simultaneous notification via the above Personnel Notice that such player’s prior NFL player contract has been terminated via the waiver system.

September 5

Top-51 rule expires and all 53 men on the roster count against the salary cap.

September 5

Regular Season Week 1 begins.