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Updated 2018 NFL offseason calendar

Here are all the important upcoming dates.

The 2017 NFL season is officially a wrap, and all 32 teams are officially into the offseason. With that in mind, it’s time for an updated offseason calendar. The offseason got going on Monday with the official open of the 2018 waivers period. Waivers runs all year, but the end of the Super Bowl marks a big change. Starting with the late October trade deadline, all players must clear waivers. After the Super Bowl, and running until the next year’s trade deadline, vested veterans (four or more accrued seasons) do not go through waivers, and instead become automatic free agents.

I’m posting the offseason schedule today in part because of my own schedule. Two weeks from today, I’m headed to Vietnam for a two-and-a-half week delayed honeymoon. We’ll be leaving DC on February 20, and returning March 9. That means I’ll be out of town through the Combine and the franchise tag period, and back the weekend before free agency begins. James Brady will be running things while I’m gone, and then that weekend back will mean all sorts of catch-up. It’s one reason I’m hoping Jimmy G signs an extension sooner rather than later!

Here’s a full calendar of dates for the next seven months. has more details on the various events, but this should cover the important stuff.


February 5: 2018 waiver period begins, vested veterans no longer subject to waivers

February 13: Teams can begin signing CFL players to contracts for 2018.

February 20: Teams may begin applying franchise or transition tags to players — Hopefully Jimmy Garoppolo is signed by this date

February 27-March 5: NFL Scouting Combine — Indianapolis, IN — coin toss between San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders for picks No. 9 and 10


March 6: Last day that teams can apply franchise or transition tags to players. — If not signed by February 20, then by this date

March 12-14: Legal tampering period — Agents for players scheduled to hit free agency on March 14th may enter into contract negotiations with other teams — also known as every agent using the 49ers to boost contract offers

March 14: The deadline for all teams to exercise option clauses and submit offers & tenders to their 2017 RFAs & ERFAs occurs at 1 p.m. PST. After 1 p.m. the new league year begins. Player contracts ending in 2017 expire and free agency begins. All teams must be under the salary cap with their top 51 players. The 2018 trading period also begins at 1 p.m. EST.

March 25-28: Annual league meeting — Comp picks announced — Orlando, FL — 49ers will have none


April 2: Offseason workout programs can begin for teams who hired a new head coach.

April 16: Offseason workout programs can begin for all other teams. — First time since 2014 the 49ers will start the program in the later period

April 20: The deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.

April 26-28: 2018 NFL Draft — Arlington, Texas — 49ers have nine picks


May 4-7 OR 11-14: Teams may hold three-day rookie mini camp.

May 14: Rookie Football Development Programs begin.

May 17-20: NFLPA Rookie Premiere — Los Angeles, CA

May 21-23: Spring League Meeting — Atlanta, Georgia.


June 1: Last day for teams to put a “June 1 Tender” on their unsigned RFAs who they sent a qualifying offer to. A player must have a “June 1 Tender” put on them in order to qualify for a “June 15 Tender.”

June 15: The deadline for teams to cancel their offers to Restricted Free Agents while still retaining exclusive negotiating rights by substituting a “June 15 Tender.”

Late June: Rookies must attend their team’s Rookie Transition Program.


July 16: Teams have until 1 p.m. PT to sign their franchise tagged player to a multi-year deal. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract and the contract cannot be extended until after the team’s final regular season game — Really hoping Jimmy G is signed by this date

Mid-July: Teams may open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players a week before it opens for returning veterans. Veteran players may report to preseason training camp on whichever date is later: they may either report on July 15 or they may report 15 days prior to the team’s first preseason game. Veteran quarterbacks and injured players may report five days earlier than other veteran players.

July 23: The deadline for teams to sign their transition tagged player. If the tender is not signed, the team retains exclusive negotiating rights until after Week 10 of the regular season.


August 2: Hall of Fame Game — Canton, Ohio — maybe Terrell Owens and the 49ers?

August 7: Players under contract must report to their clubs by this date to earn an accrued season for free agency purposes. Unsigned draft picks cannot be traded in 2018 after this date and may sign only with the team that drafted them until the 2019 NFL Draft begins.


September 1: Teams cut their preseason rosters down to 53. 1 p.m. PST deadline. Teams must set the regular season status for players on the preseason PUP and NFI lists.

September 2: Waiver claims for players cut in the cut to 53 end at 9 a.m. PST. Teams may establish their 10-player practice squads starting at 10 a.m. PST.

September 5: The Top 51 Rule expires for all NFL teams at 9 p.m. PST. All teams must be under the cap limit with their full 53 player rosters.

September 6, 9-10: 2018 regular season begins!