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2018 NFL Offseason Calendar

A look at the entire upcoming offseason calendar for the NFL.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals-Press Conference Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL offseason is over one month old for the Arizona Cardinals, but the official start to the offseason began last Monday after the Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl in franchise history.

Here are all the dates you need to know moving forward, also thanks to Mile High Report for putting this together.


February 5: Teams can begin claiming players off waivers after they’re released.

February 13: Teams can begin signing CFL players to contracts for 2018.

February 20: Teams may begin applying franchise or transition tags to players.

February 27-March 5: Potential rookies get pinched, poked, and prodded during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.


March 6: The last day that teams can apply franchise or transition tags to players.

March 12-14: The legal tampering period, during which teams can negotiate with players who will become free agents on March 14th.

March 14: The deadline for all teams to exercise option clauses and submit offers & tenders to their 2017 RFAs & ERFAs occurs at 4 p.m. EST. After 4 p.m. the new league year begins. Player contracts ending in 2017 expire and free agency begins. All teams must be under the salary cap with their top 51 players. The 2018 trading period also begins at 4 p.m. EST.

March 25-28: The annual league meeting is held in Orlando.


April 2: Offseason workout programs can begin for teams who hired a new head coach.

April 16: Offseason workout programs can begin for all other teams.

April 20: The deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.

April 26-28: The 2018 NFL Draft is held in Arlington, Texas.


May 4-7: Teams may hold their three-day rookie mini camps.

May 11-14: Teams may hold their three-day rookie mini camps.

May 14: Rookie Football Development Programs begin.

May 17-20: The NFLPA Rookie Premiere is held.

May 21-23: The Spring League Meeting is held in Atlanta, Georgia.


June 1: The last day for teams to put a “June 1 Tender” on their unsigned RFAs who they sent a qualifying offer to. A player must have a “June 1 Tender” put on them in order to qualify for a “June 15 Tender.”

June 15: The deadline for teams to cancel their offers to Restricted Free Agents while still retaining exclusive negotiating rights by substituting a “June 15 Tender.”

Late June: Rookies must attend their team’s Rookie Transition Program.


July 16: The deadline for teams to sign their franchise tagged player to a multi-year deal.

Mid-July: Teams may open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players a week before it opens for returning veterans. Veteran players may report to preseason training camp on whichever date is later: they may either report on July 15 or they may report 15 days prior to the team’s first preseason game. Veteran quarterbacks and injured players may report five days earlier than other veteran players.

July 23: The deadline for teams to sign their transition tagged player. If the tender is not signed, the team retains exclusive negotiating rights until after week 10 of the regular season.


August 2: The Hall of Fame Game is played in Canton, Ohio.

August 7: Players under contract must report to their clubs by this date to earn an accrued season for free agency purposes. Unsigned draft picks cannot be traded in 2018 after this date and may sign only with the team that drafted them until the 2019 NFL Draft begins.


September 1: Teams cut their preseason rosters down to 53. 4 p.m. EST deadline. Teams must set the regular season status for players on the preseason PUP and NFI lists.

September 2: Waiver claims for players cut in the cut to 53 end at 12 p.m. EST. Teams may establish their 10-player practice squads after receiving the Personnel Notice at around 1 p.m. EST.

September 6: The Top 51 Rule expires for all NFL teams at 12 a.m. EST. All teams must be under the cap limit with their full 53 player rosters.

September 6, 9-10: The 2018 regular season begins!