Setting the offseason schedule for the Patriots and the rest of the NFL

2018 is in the rear-view mirror, time to look forward.

One week ago today, the New England Patriots woke up as world champions — and up to six weeks behind other clubs when it comes to preparation for the upcoming 2019 season. Needless to say that the team needs to get up to speed quickly after winning Super Bowl 53 because as a look at the offseason calendar shows, the next events are right around the corner for both the Patriots and the rest of the NFL.


February

February 12: Beginning at 12:00 noon, New York time, NFL clubs may begin to sign players whose 2019 CFL contracts have expired. Players under contract to a CFL club for the 2019 season or who have an option for the 2019 season are not eligible to be signed.

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

March 5: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

March 11-13: Legal Tampering Period

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 2018 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 13.

March 13: The 2019 league year and free agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2019 on all players who have option clauses in their 2018 contracts.

Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation

Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, 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.

Top 51 Rule begins. All clubs must be under the 2019 Salary Cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.

All 2018 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.


April

April 15: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

April 19: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.

April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft, Nashville, Tennessee.

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