The 2014 NFL season is not yet a wrap, but the league has figured out most of the 2015 league schedule. The 2015 regular season schedule will not be released until April, but in the meantime, we have a full rundown of the important dates to consider between now and the start of training camp.
Update: Read our NFL Draft scouting reports 2015 for the top prospects.
There are some other pertinent dates we will be considering, primarily related to guaranteed salaries and roster bonuses. Jason Hurley will have a full rundown of those in the coming days. In the meantime, there are already plenty of notable dates for the 49ers. If the team parts ways with Jim Harbaugh, it opens the door for the various interview opportunities during the playoffs. Additionally, if the 49ers hire a new coach, they get the early start to the offseason workout program.
As the team looks to build on an incredibly disappointing 2014 season, the big dates are Saturday, March 7 and Tuesday, March 10. That Saturday marks the first day teams can enter into negotiations with agents for unrestricted free agents. If a player represents himself, he is not allowed to take part in this part of the process. That Tuesday marks the official start of the league year. At that point, free agents can sign contracts, and trades can be made. Deals are often done in advance, but they are not officially announced until at least 1 p.m. PT on the first day of the new league year.
December 29: Clubs may begin signing free agent players for the 2015 season.
- Period begins for clubs to renegotiate or extend the rookie contract of a drafted rookie who was selected in the 2012 NFL Draft. Any permissible renegotiated or extended player contract will not be considered a rookie contract, and will not be subject to the rules that limit rookie contracts.
- Option exercise period begins for fifth-year option for first-round selections from the 2012 NFL Draft. To exercise the option, the club must give written notice to the player on or after December 29, 2014 but prior to May 3, 2015.
January 3-4: Wild Card Playoff Games.
- Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that have byes in Wild Card weekend may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of the Wild Card games.
January 10-11: Divisional Playoff Games
- Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that won their Wild Card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of Divisional Playoff games.
January 17: East-West Shrine Game, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida.
January 18: AFC and NFC Championship Games.
January 24: Senior Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama.
January 25: Pro Bowl, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona.
- An assistant coach whose team is participating in the Super Bowl, who has previously interviewed for another club's head coaching job, may have a second interview with such club no later than the Sunday preceding the Super Bowl.
February 1: Super Bowl XLIX, University of Phoenix Stadium, Arizona.
February 2: Waiver system begins for 2015.
February 7: NFL Regional Combine, Doctors Hospital Training Facility, Davie, Florida.
February 10: Beginning at 9 a.m. PT, NFL clubs may begin to sign players whose 2014 CFL contracts have expired. Players under contract to a CFL club for the 2015 season or who have an option for the 2015 season are not eligible to be signed.
February 14: NFL Regional Combine, Methodist Training Center, Houston, Texas.
February 16: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
February 17-23: NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.
February 21: NFL Regional Combine, Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre, Dove Valley, Colorado.
February 28: NFL Regional Combine, Under Armour Performance Center, Owings Mills, Maryland.
March 2: Prior to 1:00 p.m., PT, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 7: NFL Regional Combine, Halas Hall, Lake Forest, Illinois.
March 7-10: 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 2014 contracts at 1:00 p.m., PT, on March 10. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 1:00 p.m., PT, on March 10.
March 10: Prior to 1:00 p.m., PT, clubs must exercise options for 2015 on all players who have option clauses in their 2014 contracts.
- Prior to 1:00 p.m., PT, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts and to whom they desire to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
- Prior to 1:00 p.m., PT, clubs must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2014 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.
- Top-51 Begins. All clubs must be under the 2015 salary cap prior to 1:00 p.m., PT.
- All 2014 player contracts expire at 1:00 p.m., PT.
- The 2015 league year and free agency period begin at 1:00 p.m., PT. The first day of the 2015 league year will end at 8:59:59 p.m., PT, on March 10. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 1:00 p.m., PT, and 8:59:59 p.m., PT, on March 10.
- Trading period for 2015 begins at 1:00 p.m., PT, after expiration of all 2014 contracts.
March 19-21: NFL Career Development Symposium, Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix, Arizona.
March 21-22: Super Regional Combine, Arizona Cardinals Training Facility, Phoenix, Arizona.
March 22-25: Annual Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona.
April 6: Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2014 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
April 20: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
April 24: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.
April 29: Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.
April 30-May 2: 2014 NFL Draft, Chicago, Illinois.
May 8-11: First weekend after the NFL Draft: clubs may elect to hold their three-day post-draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
May 11: Rookie Football Development Program begins.
May 15-18: Second weekend after the NFL Draft: clubs may elect to hold their three- day post-draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
May 18-20: NFL Spring League Meeting, San Francisco, California.
June 1: For any player removed from the club's roster or whose contract is assigned via waivers or trade on or after June 1, any unamortized signing bonus amounts for future years will be included fully in team salary at the start of the 2016 League Year.
- Deadline for prior club to send "June 1 Tender" to its unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a 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 contract from that date until the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, at 1:00 p.m., PT, only with his prior club.
- Deadline for prior club to send "June 1 Tender" to its unsigned Restricted Free Agents who received a qualifying offer for a Right of First Refusal Only in order for such player to be subject to the CBA's "June 15 Tender" provision.
June 15: Deadline for club to withdraw qualifying offer to Restricted Free Agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting "June 15 Tender" of one-year contract at 110 percent of the player's prior-year Paragraph 5 Salary (with all other terms of his prior-year contract carried forward unchanged).
June 21-27: Rookie Symposium, Aurora, Ohio.
July 15: At 1:00 p.m., PT, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multi-year contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2015 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club's last regular season game.
Mid-July: Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players beginning seven days prior to the club's earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for veteran players.
- Veteran players (defined as a player with at least one pension- credited season) other than quarterbacks or "injured players" (as defined in CBA Article 21, Section 6) may report to a club's preseason training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the club's first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.
- Veteran quarterbacks and injured players may be required to report to the club's preseason training camp no earlier than five days immediately prior to the mandatory reporting date for all other veteran players, provided the club has already opened (or simultaneously opens) its official preseason training camp for all rookies and first-year players.
- A three-day acclimation period will apply to players who are on a club's roster up to and including the mandatory veteran reporting date. Players who join the roster after that date may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical.
July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later): Signing Period ends for unrestricted Free Agents to whom a "June 1 Tender" was made by prior club. After this date and until 1:00 p.m., PT, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.
July 22: Signing period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 1:00 p.m., PT, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.