Important NFL Offseason Dates


Jan 25, 2014; Honolulu, HI, USA; General view of a lantern with a NFL logo and palm trees at the 2014 Pro Bowl All-Star Block Party Waikiki on Kalakaua Ave. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Just because the Super Bowl is over and you have to find something else to do on Sunday’s doesn’t mean the football season is actually over. There is plenty of action that will go on this offseason and free agency and the draft are just two of them. Here is a list of dates to circle on your calendar this offseason.

February 17: The first day for teams to designate Franchise or Transition tag players.

February 19-25 : NFL Scouting Combine takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

March 3: 4 p.m. is the deadline for teams to designate Franchise or Transition tag players.

March 8: Teams are permitted to enter into contract negotiations with players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2013 Player Contracts at 4 p.m., on March 11. A contract cannot be executed until March 11.

March 11:

  • Prior to 4 p.m., teams must exercise options for 2014 on all players who have option clauses in their 2013 contracts.
  • Prior to 4 p.m., clubs must submit Qualifying Offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts.
  • Prior to 4 p.m., clubs must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2013 contracts and who have fewer than three Accrued Seasons of free agency credit.
  •  All clubs must be under the 2014 Salary Cap before 4 p.m.
  •  All 2013 player contracts expire at 4 p.m.
  • The 2014 League Year and Free Agency period begins at 4 p.m. Trading period for 2014 begins at 4 p.m.

April 7: Teams that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2013 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.

April 21: Teams with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

May 2: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.

May 7: Deadline for teams to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.

May 8-10: 2014 NFL Draft

June 16: Deadline for teams to withdraw Qualifying Offer to Restricted Free Agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting a  “June 15 Tender” of a one-year contract at 110 percent of the player’s prior-year salary

July 15: 4 p.m. is the deadline for any team that designated a Franchise Player to sign him to a multi-year contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with the team.

Mid-July: Teams are permitted to open preseason training camp for Rookies and First-Year Players beginning seven days prior to the club’s reporting date for veteran players. Veteran players other than quarterbacks or injured players can report to a club’s preseason training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the team’s first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.