As we saw yesterday with the 49ers making changes to their coaching staff and signing 11 players to reserve/future contracts, there really is no ‘off season’ for the NFL.
After the postseason ends, the league schedule moves to the NFL Scouting Combine, which takes place March 1-7 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
While the official start of the 2022 NFL year is March 16 when free agency begins, the unofficial start of free agency is March 14. This is when clubs can contact and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents.
The timeline below gives a clear picture of what’s to come.
NFL 2022 Key Dates
February 3 – East-West Shrine Bowl, Allegiant Stadium: Las Vegas, Nevada.
February 5 – Senior Bowl, Hancock Whitney Stadium: Mobile, Alabama.
February 6 – NFL Pro Bowl, Allegiant Stadium: Las Vegas, Nevada.
February 8, 2021 CFL player contracts expire at 12:00 pm New York time.
As of 12:01 p.m. New York time, NFL clubs will no longer be able to try out, trade or sign CFL players to 2022 contracts.
February 13 — Super Bowl LVI, SoFi Stadium: Inglewood, California.
February 14: The exemption system for 2022 begins.
February 19: HBCU Legacy Bowl, Yulman Stadium: New Orleans, Louisiana.
February 22: First day for clubs to designate franchise or transition players.
March 1-7 — NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium: Indianapolis, Indiana.
March 8: Before 4:00 pm New York time, deadline for clubs to designate franchise or transition players.
March 14-16: Clubs may contact and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents at the expiration of their 2021 player contracts at 4:00 p.m. New York time, on March 16. .
March 16: By 4:00pm New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2022 on all players who have option clauses in their 2021 contracts.
March 16: By 4:00 pm ET, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents with expiring contracts to retain preemption/compensation.
March 16: By 4:00pm New York time, clubs must submit a minimum salary offer to retain exclusive trading rights for their players on contracts expiring in 2021 who have less than three cumulative seasons of free agency credit.
March 16: Top 51 rule begins. All clubs must be below the 2022 salary cap by 4:00 pm New York time.
March 16: All 2021 player contracts will expire at 4:00 pm New York time.
March 16: The 2022 league year and free agency period begin at 4:00 p.m. New York time.
March 16: The first day of the 2022 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m. :00 pm New York time and 11:59:59 pm New York time on March 16.
March 16: The trading period for 2022 begins at 4:00 pm New York time, after the expiration of all 2021 contracts.
End of March: International Player Pathway Pro Day (TBD)
March 27-30 — League Annual Meeting: Palm Beach, Florida.
April 4 – Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2021 season can start off-season training programs.
April 18 – Clubs with returning head coaches can begin off-season training programs.
April 22: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.
April 28-30: 2022 NFL Draft: Las Vegas, Nevada.
May 2: Deadline for the above club to send the “May 2 offer” to their 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 on the Tuesday following the tenth weekend of the regular season, at 4:00 p.m. New York time, with his former club only.
May 2: Deadline for clubs to exercise the fifth-year option for players selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
May 6-9 or May 13-16: Clubs can choose to hold their three-day post-Draft Rookie Minicamp Friday-Sunday or Saturday-Monday on one of the two post-Draft weekends.
May 16: Rookie soccer development programs begin.
May 19-22 (tentative): NFLPA rookie premiere, TBD. Respective clubs must allow invited rookies (typically first and/or second round picks) to attend. Such players are not available for off-season training, OTA days, and minicamps during this period.
May 23-25 — Spring League Meeting.
June 1: Deadline for the above club to send the “June 1 Offer” to its unsigned restricted free agents who received a qualifying offer for a right of first refusal only for said player to be subject to the “June 1 Offer” provision. Offer of June 15 » of the CBA.
June 15: Deadline for club to withdraw qualifying offer to restricted free agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting “June 15 offer” of one-year deal at 110 percent of player salary prior year paragraph 5 (with all other terms of your prior year contract remaining unchanged).
End of June: Rookie Prep Program to be held at individual clubs.
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2022 NFL offseason schedule