As the offseason kicks into high gear and we try to leave Atlanta’s mumble mumble crushing loss cough cough in the rearview, it helps to know what we’ll be looking forward to. To that end, I’ve pulled together this calendar for the next seven months, so you can plan your obsessive league tracking before the season.
Hat tip to NFL.com, which is the best resource you’ll find for an accounting of the league year. Here’s their full calendar.
February 11 -- NFL Regional Combines in Seattle
February 14 --Teams can start signing CFL players at noon.
February 15 -- First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players
February 18 -- NFL Regional Combines in Texas
February 25-26* -- NFL Regional Combines, Washington, D.C. (KICKERS & PUNTERS!)
February 28-March 6 -- NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.
March 1 -- Teams must designate Franchise or Transition players by 4 p.m. EST
March 4 --NFL Regional Combines, Minnesota
March 7-9 -- Teams can start negotiating with agents of unrestricted free agents before their contracts officially expire at 4 p.m. EST on March 9. A contract can’t be announced formally until that time, though.
March 9 -- Before 4 p.m., teams have to execute any options they have on player contracts
March 9 -- If teams want to re-sign restricted free agents, they have to make them offers before 4 p.m. Same with exclusive rights free agents, like the Falcons’ Ricardo Allen.
March 9 -- All teams must be under the 2017 salary cap by 4 p.m., when all 2016 player contracts expire. Free agency starts at this 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 11 -- NFL Regional Combines, Louisiana
March 26-29 -- Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona
April 3 -- Teams with new head coaches can kick off offseason workouts
April 17 -- Teams with returning head coaches, like the Falcons, can start their offseason workouts
April 21 -- Restricted free agents must sign their offer sheets today
April 27-29 -- 2017 NFL Draft, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 5-8 -- Teams can hold a three day rookie minicamp at this time
This next one is best quoted directly from NFL.com:
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 -- Teams can also choose to have their three day rookie minicamp go here
May 15 -- Rookie football developmental programs kick off
May 18-21 -- The NFLPA rookie premiere
May 22-24 -- Spring League Meeting, Chicago, Illinois.
May and June — Organized team activities and minicamp kick off
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 -- All rookies have to take part in a transition program around this time. Specific dates are set by each individual team.
July 15 -- Any franchise players must be signed at this point, by 4 p.m. EST
Mid-July -- Preseason training camp begins. TRAINING CAMP!!!!
July 22 -- Transition players with outstanding offers can no longer sign at this point
August 3 -- Hall of Fame Game, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio
August 5 -- Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio.