The other day, a fan emailed me to ask if we could put together an update on key offseason dates that are coming down the pike. I was happy to do so, and be sure to refer to this all offseason long to keep track of what’s next.
NFL offseason 2019 dates
February 4: Waivers began. This is why you saw the Falcons making moves starting that day, when they released Robert Alford.
February 12: Teams can sign players who are no longer under contract in the CFL. If you had your eye on any of Saskatchewan’s finest, this will be a critical offseason date for you.
February 19: If the Falcons think they won’t be able to get a deal done with Grady Jarrett without resorting to the franchise tag, they can apply it beginning on this date. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
February 26-March 4: The NFL’s Scouting Combine! This is a magical time where large men run fast and are weighed by out-of-shape men who comment on their haunches. The Falcons will use this time to help them identify players they really would like to draft.
March 5: If the Falcons want to designate Grady Jarrett or someone else as their franchise or transition player for 2019, they’ll have to do so by 4 p.m. today.
March 11-13: LEGAL TAMPERING! This hilariously named period allows teams to start negotiating contracts with impending free agents before they actually become free agents…legally.
March 13: Any options must be exercised by 4 p.m. The Falcons must extend qualifying offers to restricted free agents or risk losing them. Also, ERFAs must be tendered or they’ll split. Also, and finally, 2018 contracts expire at 4 p.m. and every team must be under the 2019 salary cap so they can sign free agents at a frenzied pace.
March 25-27: Annual league meetings, which spawn sober profiles of owners where they make ridiculously out of touch comments. A tradition unlike any other.
April 15: The Falcons can begin offseason workout programs.
April 19: All restricted free agents must sign offer sheets by this date. It’s worth noting that we usually see the schedule released around this time, as well.
April 25-27: The 2019 NFL Draft, held this year in Nashville. The Falcons will be trying to get their roster back on track post-free agency by putting together a killer class. Let’s hope they can do so.
May 3-6, May 10-13: The Falcons get to choose which of these three day periods they’ll hold their rookie minicamp on.
June 2: This is when the Falcons can realize the benefits of post-June 1 cuts, if they make any.
June-July: Organized team activities, minicamps and training camps, oh my.
August 1: Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. Preseason games for the Falcons will follow.
August 31: Prior to 4 p.m., teams must cut down to a 53 man roster, the Falcons very much included.
September 1: Waiver claims must be put in by noon today, and practice squads may be assembled beginning at 1 p.m.
September 5: The 2019 NFL season begins anew!