2017 Off-Season Important Dates (Pre-Training Camp)

2017 Off-Season Calendar

February 26th – March 6th

Official NFL Scouting Combine: Indianapolis, Indiana.


Friday, March 3: Special Teams, Running Backs, Offensive Lineman
Saturday, March 4: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers
Sunday, March 5: Defensive Lineman, Linebackers
Monday, March 6: Defensive Backs

March 1st

Deadline for teams to designate Franchise Tag or Transition Players at 4:00 p.m. EST.

March 7th – 9th 

Teams may start to contact and enter into contract negotiations with agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents on March 9th. No contracts can officially be signed until 4:00 p.m. EST on March 9th.

This is the “legal tampering period” the league added a few years back to avoid the recognition of the obvious. Agents and teams have, and will continue to, negotiate well in advance of free agency, have terms hammered out and at 4 PM on March 9, as soon as the league year starts, will execute contracts that, in some cases have been agreements in principle well in advance of the legal signing period.

March 9th

The 2017 league year and free agency period begins at 4:00 p.m. EST – AKA Rush Hour.

Teams must exercise options for 2017 on all players who have option clauses in their 2016 contracts before the 4:00 p.m. deadline.

Teams must officially submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents (RFA) before the 4:00 p.m. EST deadline.

Teams must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2016 contracts and who have fewer than three seasons of free agent eligibility.

All teams must be under the 2017 salary cap prior to 4:00 p.m. EST.

All 2016 player contracts expire at 4:00 p.m. EST.

Trading period for 2017 begins after expiration of all 2016 contracts at 4:00 p.m. EST.

April 17

Teams with returning head coaches may begin their off-season workouts.

April 18th – 20th

Approximate date the accurate NFL schedule will be released.

April 21

Deadline date for Restricted Free Agents to sign their offer sheets.

April 27-29

2017 NFL Draft | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Immediately following the last selection (Mr.Irrelevant), all Undrafted Free Agents (UDFA) become available to be contacted and signed by any team at their convenience.

May 5th – 8th

Teams can choose to hold their one three-day post-draft rookie mini-camp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.

May 9th

Final deadline for teams to send their May 9 Tender to their unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents. If a player in this situation 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 Week 10 of the regular season, New York time, only with his Prior Club.
That is to say, if he’s tendered on May 9 by his prior club and has not signed anywhere by approximately the time that training camps start, he becomes an Exclusive Rights Free Agent for 2017, tied to his previous club through week 10.

May 12th – 15th

Teams can choose to hold their one three-day post-draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.

May 18th – 21st

NFLPA Rookie Premiere: selected incoming players (typically first and/or second round picks) must be granted permission by their teams to participate. These players would be unavailable for offseason workouts, OTA days, and minicamps during these days.

photo courtesy: Nola.com

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