Important 2019 NFL offseason dates

Dates for free agency, the draft, and more

Sal Capaccio
January 15, 2019 - 1:02 pm

Photo: Steve Mitchell - USA TODAY Sports

Here are some important NFL dates to be aware of this offseason:

 

February 19:   

First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players

 

February 26 - March 4:

NFL Scouting Combine (Lucas Oil Stadium - Indianapolis, Indiana)

 

March 5:

Deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players

 

March 11:

Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations, with the agents of pending Unrestricted Free Agents on other teams. Often referred to as the "legal tampering period."

 

March 13:

New League Year and Free Agency Begins at 4 p.m.

  • All players, whose contracts expire this offseason, will officially do so.
    • For the Bills, this includes DT Jordan Phillips, OL Ryan Groy, OT Jordan Mills, OG John Miller, RB/ST Taiwan Jones, WR Deonte Thompson. 
  • Teams are allowed to have a maximum of 90 players on their active roster until final cuts in September.
  • Top-51 Rule begins, which means all clubs must be under the 2019 Salary Cap. However, only the top-51 salaries are counted against the cap until rosters are paired down to 53 in September.
  • Teams may begin signing free agents from other teams.
  • Teams may officially begin trading players still under contract for the 2019 season.

Prior to 4 p.m on March 13:

  • Clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
    • For the Bills, this includes TE Logan Thomas and CB Lafayette Pitts. If they do not, those players become Unrestricted Free Agents.
  • 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.
    • For the Bills, this includes DE Eddie Yarbrough, LB Deon Lacey, and P Matt Darr. If they do not, those players become Unrestricted Free Agents.

 

March 24 - 27:

Annual League/Owners Meetings (Phoenix, Arizona)

 

Early April (Date TBD):

Full NFL preseason schedule released

 

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 (this includes the Bills)

 

April 19:

Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets with other clubs.

 

Mid-April (Date TBD):

Full NFL regular season schedule released

 

April 25:

First Round of the 2019 NFL Draft (Nashville, Tennessee)

 

April 26:

Second and Third Rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft

 

April 27:

Fourth - Seventh Rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft

 

May 3-6 or May 10-13:

Rookie mini-camps may be held (teams can choose which of these dates they prefer, but not both)

 


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