Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

For the record: Key NFL offseason dates for draft and free agency

By Tim Graham

On the first Friday after the Super Bowl, welcome to what I'm calling "For the Record Friday," a series of blog posts to remind everyone what must be tended to in the offseason.

These are the key dates on the NFL calendar.

• Feb. 9-10: Regional combine, Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif.

• Feb. 16: Regional combine, Houston Texans training facility in Houston.

• Feb. 17: Regional combine, Cleveland Browns training facility in Berea, Ohio.

• Feb. 20-26: NFL scouting combine, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

• March 2-3: Regional combine, New York Jets training facility in Florham Park, N.J.

• March 9-11: Clubs are permitted to enter into contract negotiations with certified agents of players who will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the current league year.

• March 9: Regional combine, Tampa Bay Buccaneers training facility in Tampa, Fla.

• March 10: Regional combine, Chicago Bears training facility in Lake Forest, Ill.

• March 12: Prior to 4 p.m. Eastern time, clubs must exercise options for 2013 on all players who have option clauses in their 2012 contracts.

• March 12: Prior to 4 p.m. Eastern time, 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.

• March 12: Prior to 4 p.m. Eastern time, clubs must submit a minimum salary offer to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2012 contracts and who have fewer than three seasons of free agency credit.

• March 12: All 2012 player contracts will expire at 4 p.m. Eastern time.

• March 12: Top 51 begins. All clubs must be under the salary cap prior to 4 p.m. Eastern time.

• March 12: The 2013 league year and free-agency period begin at 4 p.m. Eastern time.

• March 12: Trading period begins at 4 p.m. Eastern time for 2013 after expiration of all 2012 contracts.

• March 16-17: Regional combine, Atlanta Falcons training facility in Flowery Branch Ga.

• March 17-20: NFL owners' meetings, Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix.

• March 23-24: Regional combine, Seattle Seahawks training facility in Renton, Wash.

• March 23-24: Regional combine, Baltimore Ravens training facility in Owings Mills, Md.

• April 7-8: Super regional combine, Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

• April 25-27: NFL draft, Radio City Music Hall in New York.

• May 20-22: NFL spring league meeting, Hyatt-Harborside Hotel in Boston.

• Sept. 5 and 8-9: 2013 NFL opening week.


2013 draft | 2013 free agency | For the record
comments powered by Disqus

About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |