At 4:00 p.m. ET on March 12, the new league year officially begins and it signals the start of the free agency period that allows teams to start rebuilding their franchises for the upcoming season. There is a lot of information to take in and key dates over the next few months, so let’s take a minute to examine all of the instrumental dates moving forward.
NFL Communications gives a breakdown of the key dates during the offseason:
For Restricted Free Agents, from March 12 to April 19. For Unrestricted Free Agents who have received the June 1 tender from their prior club, from March 12 to July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later). For Franchise Players, from March 12 until the Tuesday following the 10th week of the regular season, November 12. If a Franchise Player does not sign by November 12, he must sit out the season. There are no Transition Player designations this year.
Here is a breakdown of the schedule for the new league year in simpler terms:
- March 12, 4:00 p.m. ET: New league year begins, free agency opens
- April 19: Restricted free agents signing period ends
- March 12 through June 1 [prior club tender], July 22: First training camp to sign UFAs
- March 12 through November 12: Window to sign franchise players
Free agency is always a wild ride and one of the most enjoyable times for NFL fans. The signings build up excitement for the upcoming season and help lift new teams into the category of Super Bowl contenders. Will your team improve and earn contender status? The next few months will determine that.
Be sure to stay tuned to FanSided.com throughout the free agency period to stay up to date on the latest news, rumors and signings.
You can stay up to date with all of the signings with our official free agency tracker HERE.