Key dates for your NFL diaries in the coming weeks

As we get into the thick of the NFL offseason, here is a reminder of some of the prominent dates on the upcoming calendar.

Last Wednesday (Feb 15) was the first day that teams were allowed to use the franchise tag on a specific player. Each club is only allotted one tag per year, which can be used as either an exclusive or non-exclusive tag. In layman’s terms, a franchise tag means that a team gets one-year control of the tagged player and will have to pay him among the elite at his position.

Below is a list of the remainder of important dates still to come this offseason.


February 28-March 6: Combine Timing and Testing, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.

March 1: Prior to 9pm (GMT), deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

March 7-9: During the period beginning at 12 noon, New York time, on March 7th and ending at 08:59:59 a.m. (GMT) on March 10th, 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 2016 player contracts at 9pm (GMT) on March 9. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 9pm (GMT) on March 9.

During the above two-day negotiating period, no direct contact is permitted between a prospective unrestricted free agent and any employee or representative of a club, other than the player’s current club.

March 9: The 2017 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 9pm (GMT).

The first day of the 2017 League Year will end at 4:59:59 a.m. (GMT) on March 10. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 9pm (GMT) and 4:59:59 a.m. (GMT) on March 10.

March 9: Trading period for 2017 begins at 9pm (GMT) after expiration of all 2016 contracts.

March 26-29: Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona.

April 3: Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2016 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.

April 17: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

April 21: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.

April 26: Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.


April 27-29: NFL Draft (Philadelphia). The NFL draft was last held in Philadelphia in 1961, and the first ever NFL draft was held in Philadelphia in 1936.

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