Although the 2021 season isn’t technically over as the playoffs continue to roll on, it’s over for the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons finished with a 7-10 record—which wasn’t good enough to make the playoffs—but they did come close and have something to build on this offseason. Atlanta has a number of offseason decisions to make regarding the future of key players and position groups.
On Thursday, the NFL released important dates for the 2022 offseason which will impact all 32 teams. Below is a synopsis of key dates, per the official NFL operations website. You may want to bookmark this as the dates will be relevant up until the 2022 NFL Draft.
- Jan. 8-9
- Jan. 10
Earliest permissible date for clubs to renegotiate or extend the rookie contract of a drafted rookie who was selected in any round of the 2019 College Draft or any undrafted rookie who signed in 2020. Any permissible renegotiated or extended player contract will not be considered a rookie contract, and will not be subject to the rules that limit rookie contracts.
- Jan. 15-16
Wild Card Playoff Games.
- Jan. 17
Deadline for college players who are underclassmen to apply for Special Eligibility. A list of underclassmen who have been approved for entry into the 2022 College Draft will be sent to clubs on January 21.
- Jan. 22
NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California.
- Jan. 22-23
Divisional Playoff Games.
- Jan. 28
HBCU Combine, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama.
- Jan. 30
AFC and NFC Championship Games.
- Feb. 3
East-West Shrine Bowl, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Feb. 5
Senior Bowl, Hancock Whitney Stadium, Mobile, Alabama.
*Editors note: Kevin Knight of The Falcoholic will be on scene at the Senior Bowl, so stay tuned for some great content from that event.
- Feb. 6
NFL Pro Bowl, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Feb. 13
Super Bowl LVI, SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California.
- Feb. 19
HBCU Legacy Bowl, Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana.
- Mar. 1-7
NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.
- Mar. 8
Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
- Mar. 14-16
During the period beginning at 12:00 noon, New York time, on March 14 and ending at 3:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 16, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2021 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 16. During the above two-day negotiating period, a prospective UFA who is not represented by an NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor is permitted to communicate directly with a new club’s front office officials (excluding the head coach and other members of the club’s coaching staff) regarding contract negotiations. No prospective unrestricted free agent is permitted to execute a contract with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 16.
- Mar. 16
The 2022 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time. The first day of the 2022 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 16. 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 16.
Trading period for 2022 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2021 contracts.
- Mar. 27-30
Annual League Meeting, The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida.
- April 4
Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2021 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
- April 18
Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs
- April 20
Deadline to bring draft-eligible players to their facilities for a physical examination.
- April 22
Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.
- April 27
Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to restricted free agents.
Deadline to time, test, and interview draft-eligible players.
- April 28-30
NFL Draft, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Again, I would highly recommend bookmarking this article if you’re interested in the series of offseason events leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft. Following this year’s draft, we’ll turn our attention to training camp and preseason activities as we draw closer to the 2022 regular season.