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NFL offseason schedule 2019: When is the NFL Draft, Combine, free agency? | NFL

With the Super Bowl behind us, the NFL offseason is officially here.

The Rams and Patriots join the other 30 NFL clubs who’ve been in offseason mode for weeks now. While the draft on April 25 is still two months away, there’s plenty of important dates teams and fans need to keep in mind. The NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Feb. 26, the franchise-tag deadline on March 5 and the start of free agency on March 13 are just a few marquee dates on the league calendar.  

Here are the important dates you need to keep an eye on this NFL offseason.

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When is the 2019 NFL Draft?

The 2019 NFL Draft will be held from Thursday, April 25 through Saturday, April 27. Round 1  Thursday; Rounds 2-3 will be on Friday; Round 4-7 will be on Saturday.

This year’s draft will be in Nashville, Tenn. The NFL picked Nashville over Kansas City, Denver, Las Vegas and Cleveland/Canton in May 2018. 

MOCK DRAFT 2019: Kyler Murray goes early; Eagles, Colts find new playmakers

When does NFL free agency start in 2019?

Free agency officially begins on March 13 at 4 p.m. ET — the official start of the league year. However, teams can enter negotiations with players who have expiring contracts starting March 11 at 4 p.m. ET.  

Teams are also able to facilitate trades starting at 4 p.m. ET on March 13.

MORE: Full list of 2019 free agents by position

NFL offseason schedule 2019

FEBRUARY

  • Feb. 4: Waiver system begins for 2019.
  • Feb. 12: Beginning at 12:00 noon, New York time, NFL clubs may begin to sign players whose 2019 CFL contracts have expired. Players under contract to a CFL club for the 2019 season or who have an option for the 2019 season are not eligible to be signed.
  • Feb. 19: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players. 
  • Feb. 26-March 4: NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.

MARCH

  • March 5: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
  • March 11-13: 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 2018 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 13.
  • March 13: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2019 on all players who have option clauses in their 2018 contracts.
  • March 13: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
  • March 13: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2018 contracts who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.
  • March 13: Top 51 Rule begins. All clubs must be under the 2019 Salary Cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.
  • March 13: All 2018 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
  • March 13: The 2019 league year and free agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time. The first day of the 2019 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 13. 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 13.
  • March 13: Trading period for 2019 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2018 contracts.
  • March 24-27: Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona.

APRIL

  • April 1: Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2018 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
  • April 15: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
  • April 19: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.
  • April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft, Nashville, Tennessee.

MAY

  • May 3-6: Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
  • May 7: Deadline for prior club to send “May 7 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 10-13: Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
  • May 13: Rookie Football Development Programs begin.
  • May 16-19: NFLPA Rookie Premiere. Invited rookies (typically, first and/or second-round selections) must be permitted by their respective clubs to attend. Such players are unavailable for offseason workouts, OTA days, and minicamps during this period.
  • May 20-22: Spring League Meeting, Key Biscayne, Florida.

JUNE

  • 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 3: 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 CBA’s “June 15 Tender” provision.
  • 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: Rookie Transition Program to be held at individual clubs. Attendance is mandatory for all 2019 rookies.

JULY

  • July 15: At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension.  After this date, the player may sign only a one- year contract with his prior club for the 2019 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.
  • Mid-July: Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players 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 22*: Signing period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents to whom a “May 7 Tender” was made by prior club. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights. (*or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later). Signing period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.

AUGUST

  • Aug. 1: Hall of Fame Game, Canton, Ohio.
  • Aug. 1-4: Hall of Fame Weekend, Canton, Ohio.
  • Aug. 6: Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an accrued 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 2019, and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the Draft in the 2020 league year.
  • Aug. 31: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List. Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53, clubs that have players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options: place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non- Football Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; request waivers; terminate contract; trade contract; or continue to count the player on the Active List.

SEPTEMBER

  • Sept. 1: Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at 12:00 noon, New York time.
  • Sept. 1: Upon receipt of the Personnel Notice at approximately 1:00 p.m., New York time, clubs may establish a practice squad of 10 players (clubs participating in the International Player Development Program may sign one additional international player to a Practice Player Contract.) No club, including the player’s prior club, will be permitted to sign a player to a practice player contract until all clubs have received simultaneous notification via the above Personnel Notice that such player’s prior NFL player contract has been terminated via the waiver system.
  • Sept. 5: At 12:00 a.m., New York time, the Top 51 Rule expires for all NFL clubs. 
  • Sept. 5: 8-9 Regular Season Week 1.

(Important dates via NFL Operations)

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