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NFL 2018 offseason calendar: Free agency, Draft, preseason, Week 1

NFL Combine - Day 6

The NFL postseason is getting ready to kickoff, with the playoff’s Wildcard Weekend coming on Saturday and Sunday. For the 20 teams not in the playoffs, including the Miami Dolphins, now is the time to start preparations for the 2018 season. Several important dates and deadlines will be coming between now and the start of the 2018 regular season.

When do franchise tags have to be placed? When does free agency begin? When is the Draft? When do training camps begin? When is the 2018 season kickoff? All of those questions can be answered.


This one is pretty simple, and you can see the full breakdown of the playoffs, which team is playing when and where, and all those kinds of details, in our playoff preview.

  • Wildcard Weekend: January 6-7
  • Divisional Round: January 13-14
  • Championship Games: January 21
  • Pro Bowl: January 28
  • Super Bowl LII: February 4


  • Deadline for underclassmen to declare for Draft: January 15
  • East-West Shrine Game: January 20
  • NFLPA Collegiate Bowl: January 20
  • Senior Bowl: January 27
  • NFL Scouting Combine: February 27 - March 5

Free Agency

  • CFL Try-out and negotiation deadline: January 31
  • Franchise/Transition tag period opens: February 20
  • Franchise/Transition tag period ends: March 6
  • Legal Tampering period: March 12-14
  • Free agency and trading begins: March 14, 4pm ET
  • Deadline for RFAs to sign offer sheets: April 20
  • Deadline for club to withdraw RFA offer and replace with June 15 Tender (1 year, 110% of previous salary): June 15
  • Deadline to re-sign franchise player: July 16
  • Deadline for new team to sign transition player: July 23

League Admin

  • Annual league meeting: March 25-28
  • Spring league meeting: May 21-23
  • Rookie Football Development Program begins: May 14
  • Signing bonus spread over two years: June 2

Offseason Training Programs

  • Teams with new head coaches may start programs: April 2
  • Teams with returning head coaches may start programs: April 16

NFL Draft

  • 2018 NFL Draft: April 26-28

OTAs and Minicamps

  • Rookie Minicamp: 3 days between May 4-7 or May 11-14
  • OTA and Minicamp window: May 28 - June 24

Training Camp

  • Training camp: Mid-July (Veterans: 15 days prior to first preseason game or July 15, whichever is later; Rookies: May report up to seven days prior to veterans; Quarterbacks and injured players: May report up to five days prior to veterans if rookies have reported


  • Hall of Fame Game: August 2
  • Hall of Fame Weekend: August 2-5
  • Deadline for signed players to report to receive accrued season: August 7

Regular season

  • 53-man roster cuts: September 1, 4pm ET
  • Practice squads: September 2, 1pm ET
  • Week 1: September 6, 9-10