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2016 Key NFL Dates – Offseason To Super Bowl 51


It’s one of the worst days of the year, the first Sunday without football. After 22 weeks of fans watching NFL teams play the greatest sport there is, now comes major depression that words cannot describe. Although there are no meaningful games left to play for the next seven months, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to look forward to.

Ed Note: Dates will be added/updated as they become available

The NFL has changed; it’s now a league that holds fans attention for the entire year and many fans like to say there is no real offseason. With that in mind (and a big thank you to, here are some key dates from the offseason to Super Bowl 51 that fans can get excited about.

2016 Feb 16: First day you can tag a player via Franchise or Transition.

2016 February 23-29: For many the “Underwear Olympics” is the most exciting aspect of the offseason excepting the NFL Draft itself. Many a millionaire has been made at this event. A few sure fire stars have walked away failing to even be drafted after showing poorly in interviews. You have to watch. How can you not?

2016 March 1: The last day (deadline) teams can tag players.

2016 March 7-9: Free agency opens at 4 PM, kind of. This is when teams can talk with agents (not players) and nothing can be signed or agreed to. Right. How dumb do they think people are?

2016 March 9: The 2016 League Year Begins!

  • Free Agency begins 4 PM EST
  • All player contract options must be exercised by 4 PM EST
  • All player qualifying offers to RFA’s must be submitted by 4 PM EST

Now that makes for a busy day. Free Agency (really) begins and there will be a flurry of signings. Bad signings for teams usually come during this period. Smart signings for teams usually comes later.

2016 March 20-23: The annual league meeting. This year in Boca Raton, Florida.

2016 April 4: If your team hired a new head coach at the end of the 2015 regular season workout programs can begin now (early) for you. No wonder players love regime changes.

2016 April 18: Regular offseason workout programs may begin. Vets, rooks, the whole nine yards.

2016 April 22: RFA players deadline to sign their offer sheets.

2016 April 28-30: The 2016 NFL Draft kicks off with round one from Chicago, Illinois.

****** AFTER the last draft pick teams may IMMEDIATELY begin signing UDFA players who were eligible yet not drafted.******

2016 May 6-9 OR May 13-16: This is the three-day post-draft rookie mini-camp each team can have. They have a choice of doing it on the first or second weekend after the 2016 NFL Draft.

2016 May 20-23: NFLPA Rookie Premiere. Big name rookies (first and second rounders) attend this event and are excused from other activities. This is by club permission only.

2016 May 23-25: NFL League Spring Meeting this time in Charlotte, North Carolina.

2016 June 1: This is all legal stuff. A “June 1 Tender” must be sent to a teams unsigned RFA’s who received a qualifying “Right of First Refusal” offer in order to subject said player to the “June 15 Tender” provision. Got it? Crossing some t’s, dotting some i’s.If a UFA got an offer and you want a shot at some compensation  you have to submit your paper work by this date.

2016 June 19-25: Rookie Symposium, this time in Aurora, Ohio. As some rookies  are seemingly not aware, attendance is mandatory.

2016 July 15: Deadline to sign any designated Franchise Player to a multi-year contract or extension. After this date only a one year contract that expires the last game of the season can be signed.

2016 Mid-July: Training Camps Open – We will be posting actual camp dates under the team names below as they become available.

AFC East

NFC East

Buffalo Bills
Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots
New York Jets

Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles
Washington Redskins

AFC North

NFC North

Baltimore Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns
Pittsburgh Steelers

Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers
Minnesota Vikings

AFC South

NFC South

Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts
Jacksonville Jaguars
Tennessee Titans

Atlanta Falcons
Carolina Panthers
New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

AFC West

NFC West

Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs
Oakland Raiders
San Diego Chargers

Arizona Cardinals
Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco 49ers
Seattle Seahawks

2016 Aug 7: The 2016 Hall of Fame Game will be between the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts.

2015 Aug 11: – NFL Preseason Week 1

2016 Aug 30: Roster reduction to 75 players by 4 PM EST

2016 Sep 1: Final Preseason Game

2016 Sep 3: – Roster reduction to final 53  by 4 PM EST

2016 Sep 08: Regular Season Begins

2016 Nov 01: – 2016 Season Trade Deadline

2017 Dec 26: End of 2016 Regular Season

2017 Feb 05: Super Bowl 51

These are the major dates to look forward to as we prepare for another NFL season. It’s a long offseason, but it doesn’t sit silently.

What say you Sports Nation?

Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over

Steven Van Over

Steven Van Over

Analyst, Editor, Photographer, Writer at SportsTalkLine
Editor, Writer, Podcaster & Photographer for @SportsTalkLine Network. I watch sports, I talk about sports then I write about sports. Catch me on Twitter @StevenVanOver
Steven Van Over