NFL Releases Tentative Schedule

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 17: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell arrives for court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 17, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the NFL lockout remains in place mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down in March. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Soon after the NFL announced the owner's 31-0 vote approving the proposed new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NFL released a tentative updated schedule from this point forward, with doors opening on Saturday. Teams would be allowed to sign their own free agents, no matter the designation, extend contracts and to get their drafted players under contract. And later tomorrow afternoon, teams will be allowed to negotiate contracts with other team's free agents (no matter the designation) as well as undrafted free agents -- but they can't be immediately signed.

With the players delaying their own vote until, possibly, Friday, the schedule is extremely tentative and could be subject to change at any time. In the meantime, here's the league's released schedule:

JULY 23
  • Voluntary training, conditioning and classroom instruction permitted until first day of clubs’ preseason training camps.
  • Pre-2011 League Year Period commences. 2011 Free Agency List to be issued and will become effective on the first day of the 2011 League Year (July 27). Clubs/players may begin to renegotiate contracts. Clubs may begin to sign Drafted Rookies and their own UFAs, RFAs, Exclusive Rights Players and Franchise Players.
  • Waivers begin for the 2011 League Year.
  • Starting at 2:00 PM ET, clubs may negotiate with, but not sign, Undrafted Rookie Free Agents, free agents, and other clubs’ UFAs, RFAs, and Franchise Players.
JULY 24
  • Starting at 2:00 PM ET, clubs may begin to sign undrafted rookie free agents.
JULY 27
  • 2011 League Year commences at 2:00 PM ET, provided NFLPA has ratified CBA. Free Agency Signing Period begins. Clubs may sign free agents and other clubs’ Unrestricted Free Agents. Clubs may sign Offer Sheets. Trading period begins. All Clubs must be under the Salary Cap. Top 51 rule applies.
  • Expand rosters to 90-man limit.
  • Training Camps open for all clubs, provided NFLPA has ratified CBA. Day One activities limited to physicals, meetings, and conditioning. No pads permitted on Day Two or Day Three.
AUGUST 9
  • Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an Accrued Season for free agency.
AUGUST 12
  • Bengals preseason game against the Lions in Detroit
  • Deadline for signing of Offer Sheets by Restricted Free Agents (17-day period concludes)
  • Deadline for June 1 Tender to Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a Player Contract with a Club by August 26, he may negotiate or sign a Player Contract from August 26 until the Tuesday following the tenth week of the regular season, at 4:00 PM ET, only with his Prior Club.
  • Deadline: if a Drafted Rookie has not signed a Player Contract by this date, he cannot be traded during his initial League Year and may sign a Player Contract only with the drafting Club until the day of the Draft in the next League Year.
AUGUST 13-17
  • Each Club has until five days prior to its second preseason game to provide any tendered but unsigned Exclusive Rights Player or Restricted Free Agent with written notice of the Club’s intent to place the player on the Exempt List if the player fails to report at least the day before the Club’s second preseason game.
AUGUST 16
  • Deadline for Prior Club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents (Four-day matching period concludes)
AUGUST 17
  • Deadline for June 1 Tender to Restricted Free Agents who have received a Qualifying Offer for a Right of First Refusal Only.
AUGUST 21
  • Bengals preseason game against the Jets in New York.
AUGUST 25
AUGUST 26
  • Signing Period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents who received the June 1 Tender.
AUGUST 29
  • Deadline for June 15 Tender to Restricted Free Agents. If player’s Qualifying Offer is greater than 110% of the player’s prior year’s Paragraph 5 Salary (with all other terms of his prior year contract carried forward unchanged), the Club may withdraw the Qualifying Offer on August 29 and retain its exclusive negotiating rights to the player, so long as the Club immediately tenders the player a one-year Player Contract of at least 110% of his prior year’s Paragraph 5 Salary, with all the terms of his prior year’s contract carried forward unchanged.
AUGUST 30
  • Clubs reduce rosters from 90 players to 75 players.
SEPTEMBER 1
SEPTEMBER 3
  • Clubs reduce rosters to 53 players.
SEPTEMBER 11
  • Bengals open regular season against the Browns in Cleveland.
SEPTEMBER 18
  • Bengals play second regular season game against the Broncos in Denver.
SEPTEMBER 20
  • Deadline at 4:00 PM ET for any Club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multi-year contract or extension.
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