Now that OTAs have wrapped up across the NFL, the entire league is in the quietest period of the year.
The only thing of real substance in the coming weeks is the annual supplemental draft, which actually has a nice crop of prospects this year, though a date for the event has not been set yet.
As for the Bengals, most of them are heading home for a brief summer break before training camp opens in late July. There’s the Rookie Experience Transition Program later this month. That event gives NFL owners, general managers, coaches and directors of player engagement the opportunity to share their club’s unique culture with rookies.
Then comes the start of training camp in July, which begins the drive toward the 2018 NFL season. Once the pads come on for the first time, that’s when we know real NFL football isn’t far away.
Here is a look at all of the remaining offseason dates leading up to Week 1 when the Bengals face the Colts:
Late June: Rookie Experience Transition Program to be held at individual clubs. Attendance is mandatory for all 2018 rookies.
Sometime in July: The 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft
July 16: At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension.
Mid-July: Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies beginning seven days prior to the club’s earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for veteran players. Veteran players other than quarterbacks or injured players may report to a club’s preseason training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the club’s first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.
July 23: Signing period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders.
July 23: Signing period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents to whom a “May 9 Tender” was made by prior club.
July 26: Bengals players report to training camp in Cincinnati, Ohio.
August 2-5: Hall of Fame Weekend, Canton, Ohio.
August 7: Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an accrued season for free agency.
August 7: If a drafted rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he cannot be traded to any other club in 2018, and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the Draft in the 2019 League Year.
August 9-13: First Preseason Weekend.
August 16-20: Second Team Preseason Weekend.
August 23-26: Third Preseason Weekend.
August 30: Final Preseason Games.
September 1: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List.
September 2: Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at 12:00 noon, New York time.
September 2: Teams may establish a Practice Squad of 10 players.
September 6: At 12:00 a.m., New York time, the Top 51 Rule expires for all NFL clubs.
September 6: NFL regular-season opener
September 9: Bengals’ regular-season opener vs Colts