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NFL Offseason 2018: Dates to Know

Update your calendar with these important dates so you don’t miss anything throughout the offseason!

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

One football-less Sunday has passed.

With 29 more before the 2018 NFL season kicks off, let’s discuss the milestones to check off as we count down to the return of football.

Put these important dates* in your calendar to help you navigate the 2018 NFL offseason (courtesy of the NFL Operations website calendar for 2018)...

*Marquee events are noted in bold.


  • February 20: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
  • February 27 - March 1: NFL Scouting Combine arrivals, measurements, and psychological testing


  • March 2 - March 5: NFL Scouting Combine on-field workouts
  • March 6, 4:00pm EST - Deadline for teams to designate Franchise or Transition players.
  • March 12 - 14 - Teams are permitted to contact agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2017 player contracts. No contracts can be executed with a new team until 4:00pm EST on March 14.
  • March 14, 4:00pm EST - All 2017 player contracts expire.
  • March 14, 4:00pm EST - Official start of the 2018 league year and free agency.


  • April 2 - Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2017 regular season may begin offseason workout programs. This, of course, applies to the Titans with new head coach Mike Vrabel. It appears from Vrabel’s comments that the Titans will take advantage of this optional time.
  • April 20 - Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets. This would apply to a player like Quinton Spain.
  • Mid-late April - NFL 2018 Schedule will be released sometime in mid to late April.
  • Sometime in April - The Titans will release their new uniform design sometime in April before the draft. Exact date not specified.
  • April 26 - 28 - 2018 NFL Draft.


  • May 4-7 / May 11-14 - Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
  • May 17 - 20 - NFLPA Rookie Premiere.
  • Late May - Early June - Organized Team Activities (OTAs). These schedules will be released in the coming months and will be specific to each team based on their respective preseason schedules.


  • Mid-June - Mandatory Minicamp.
  • Late June - Rookie Transition Program to be held at individual clubs. Attendance is mandatory for all rookies.


  • July 16, 4:00pm EST - Deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign a multiyear contract or extension.
  • Mid-July - Training Camp.


  • August 2 - Hall of Fame game. Start of Preseason.
  • August 7 - If a drafted rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he cannot be traded to any other club in 2018, and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the Draft in the 2019 League Year. Pretty rare occurrence, but think Joey Bosa or Michael Crabtree.


  • September 1, 4:00pm EST - Teams must cut rosters down to 53 players.
  • September 2 - Upon receipt of the Personnel Notice at approximately 1:00pm EST, clubs may establish a practice squad of 10 players.
  • September 6 - Thursday Night Football kicks off the 2018 Regular Season.

These are the highlight dates to know about as we trudge through the offseason.

For the full calendar of dates on the NFL Ops site, click this link.