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Important 2020 NFL offseason dates

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These are the dates to have on your calendar.

With the NFL league year finally reaching the Super Bowl, the offseason is about to begin. Here are all the dates you need to know from now through the start of the 2020-2021 NFL season.


February 2

Super Bowl LIV

February 3

Waiver system begins for 2020. Vested veterans don’t need to pass through waiver wire anymore. Waiver claim order set in reverse draft order.

February 24 - March 2

NFL Scouting Combine

February 25

First day for teams to designate Franchise- or Transition-tagged players


March 10

Prior to 4:00 pm, deadline for teams to designate Franchise- or Transition-tagged players

March 16 - March 18

Legal “tampering” window, where teams can contact the agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents at the beginning of the next season

March 18 - Start of the new league year

Prior to 4:00 pm, teams must exercise 2020 contract options on players with option clauses. Teams must submit qualifying offers to Restricted Free Agents. Teams must submit minimum salary offers to retain Exclusive Restricted Free Agents. Teams must be under the 2020 salary cap by the Top 51 rule (the 51 most expensive cap values on the roster).

2020 league year and free agency period begins at 4:00 pm.

Trading period for 2020 begins at 4:00 pm.

March 29 - April 2

Annual League Meeting


April 6

Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2019 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.

April 17

Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets

April 20

Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

April 23 - April 25

2020 NFL Draft


May 1 - May 4 or May 8 - May 11

Clubs may hold their three-day rookie minicamp during one of these two times.

May 11

Rookie football development programs begin.

May 14 - May 17

NFLPA Rookie premiere. Invited rookies (typically first- and/or second-round picks) must be excused from OTAs or other workouts to attend.

May 19 - May 20

Spring League Meeting


June 1

Deadline for teams to send “June 1st tender” to its unsigned Restricted Free Agents who received a qualifying offer, in order for that player to be subject to the Collective Bargaining Agreement’s “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 2020 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 salary (with all other terms of his prior-year contract carried forward unchanged).

Late June

Rookie Transition Program to be held at individual clubs.


July 15

Deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign that player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may only sign a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2020 season, and the contract cannot be extended until after the club’s final regular-season game.

Mid-July

Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies 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 22nd

Signing period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 4:00 pm on the Tuesday following the tenth week of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.


August 6

Hall of Fame Game, Canton Ohio

August 6 - August 9

Hall of Fame Weekend, Canton Ohio

August 11

Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to accrue a 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 2020, and may sign a contract only with the drafting club until the day of the 2021 NFL Draft.


September 5

Prior to 4:00 pm, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players.

Simultaneously, clubs with players on the Physically Unable to Perform list or the Non Football Injury/Illness list must choose from one of the following options for each player:

  • Place player on the Reserve/PUP or Reserve/NFI list
  • Waive the player
  • Terminate contract
  • Trade contract
  • Continue to count the player as an active member of the roster

September 6

Waiver claim period for players released from rosters ends at 12:00 pm.

Clubs may establish a ten-man practice squad, or 11 if participating in the International Player Development Program.

September 10

At 12:00 am, the Top 51 Salary Cap rule expires for all clubs.

September 10, September 13 - September 14

Regular Season Week 1