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Important NFL Dates for 2015 and 2016

The NFL released important dates and deadlines for the remainder of 2015 through the 2016 NFL draft.

Here are the important dates for the 2015-2016 NFL season.

2015

July 15 At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multi-year contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2013 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.
Late July

Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players no earlier than 22 days prior to the club’s first preseason game.

Veteran players (defined as a player with at least one pension-credited season) other than quarterbacks or "injured players" (as defined in CBA Article 21, Section 6) 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.

Veteran quarterbacks and injured players may be required to report to the club’s preseason training camp no earlier than five days immediately prior to the mandatory reporting date for all other veteran players, provided the club has already opened (or simultaneously opens) its official preseason training camp for all rookies and first-year players.

A three-day acclimation period will apply to players who are on a club’s roster up to and including the mandatory veteran reporting date. Players who join the roster after that date may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical.

July 22* Signing Period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents to whom a "June 1 Tender" was made by
August 6-9 Hall of Fame Weekend, Canton, Ohio.
August 9 Hall of Fame Game, Minnesota Vikings vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Canton, Ohio.
August 11 Special league meeting, Hyatt-Schaumburg, Schaumburg, Illinois.
August 11

If a drafted rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he cannot be traded to any other club in 2013, and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the draft in the 2014 League Year.

August 13-17 First Preseason Weekend.
August 20-24 Second Preseason Weekend.
August 27-30 Third Preseason Weekend.
September 1 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 75 players
September 3 Final Preseason Games.
September 5 August 31 -- Prior to 7:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List.
September 5

Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53, clubs that have players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options: place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non- Football Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; request waivers; terminate contract; trade contract; or continue to count the player on the Active List.

September 6

Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at 12:00 p.m., New York time.

Beginning at 12:00 p.m., New York time, clubs may establish a Practice Squad of eight players by signing free agents who do not have an Accrued Season of free agency credit or who were on the 46-player Active List for less than nine regular season games during each of any Accrued Seasons. A player cannot serve on the Practice Squad for more than three seasons.

September 10 At 12:00 a.m., New York time, the Top 51 rule expires for all NFL clubs.
Sept. 10, 13-14 Regular season opens
October 4 NFL International Series -- New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins in London.
October 6-7

Fall league meeting in New York

October 16 Beginning on the sixth day prior to a club's seventh regular-season game (including any bye week) and continuing through the day after the conclusion of the 11th regular-season weekend, clubs are permitted to begin practicing players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform and Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness for a period not to exceed 21 days. Players may be activated during the 21-day practice period or prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the day after the conclusion of the 21-day period, provided that no player may be activated to participate in a Week 6 game.
October 25 NFL International Series -- Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville Jaguars in London.
November 1 NFL International Series -- Detroit Lions vs. Kansas City Chiefs in London.
November 3

All trading ends for 2013 at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

November 4 Players with at least four previous pension-credited seasons are subject to the waiver system for the remainder of the regular season and postseason.
November 17

At 4:00 p.m., New York time, signing period ends for Franchise Players who are eligible to receive Offer Sheets.

November 17 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their unsigned Franchise and Transition Players, including Franchise Players who were eligible to receive Offer Sheets until this date. If still unsigned after this date, such players are prohibited from playing in the NFL in 2013.
November 17 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for Clubs to sign their Restricted Free Agents, including those to whom the "June 1 Tender" was made. If such players remain unsigned after this date, they are prohibited from playing in the NFL in 2013.
November 17 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for Clubs to sign their Restricted Free Agents, including those to whom the "June 1 Tender" was made. If such players remain unsigned after this date, they are prohibited from playing in the NFL in 2013.
November 17 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for Clubs to sign their drafted rookies. If such players remain unsigned after this date, they are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2013.
November 12 At 4:00 p.m., New York time, signing period ends for Franchise Players who are eligible to receive Offer Sheets.
November 12 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their unsigned Franchise and Transition Players, including Franchise Players who were eligible to receive Offer Sheets until this date. If still unsigned after this date, such players are prohibited from playing in the NFL in 2013.
November 12

Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their Unrestricted Free Agents to whom the "June 1 Tender" was made. If still unsigned after this date, such players are prohibited from playing in the NFL in 2013.

November 12 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for Clubs to sign their Restricted Free Agents, including those to whom the "June 1 Tender" was made. If such players remain unsigned after this date, they are prohibited from playing in the NFL in 2013.
November 12 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for Clubs to sign their drafted rookies. If such players remain unsigned after this date, they are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2013.
November 29 Deadline at 4:00 p.m., New York time, for reinstatement of players in Reserve List categories of Retired, Did Not Report, and Exclusive Rights, and of players who were placed on Reserve/Left Squad in a previous season.


2016

January 3

Week 17 of the regular season

January 4

Earliest permissible date for clubs to renegotiate or extend the rookie contract of a drafted rookie who was selected in any round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Any permissible renegotiated or extended player contract will not be considered a rookie contract, and will not be subject to the rules that limit rookie contracts.

Option exercise period begins for Fifth-Year Option for First-Round Selections from the 2011 College Draft. To exercise the option, the club must give written notice to the player on or after January 4, 2016, but prior to May 3, 2016.

January 9-10 Wild Card playoffs
January 10 Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that have byes in the Wild Card weekend may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of Wild Card games.
January 16-17 Divisional playoffs
January 17 Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that won their Wild Card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of Divisional Playoff games.
January 18 Deadline for college players that are underclassmen to apply for special eligibility. A list of players who are accepted into the NFL Draft will be transmitted to clubs on Jan. 22.
January 23 East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
January 24 AFC and NFC Championship games
January 30 Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Moblie, Ala.
January 31

NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.

An assistant coach, whose team is participating in the Super Bowl, who has previously interviewed for another club's head coaching job may have a second interview with such club no later than the Sunday preceding the Super Bowl.

February 7 Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
February 22 First day for clubs to designate franchise or transition players.
February 23-29

Combine timing and testing at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

March 7 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate franchise or transition players.
March 12-15 Beginning at 12 p.m. New York time, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2015 player contracts at 4 p.m. New York time, on March 15. However, a contract cannot be executed with a club until 4 p.m., New York time, on March 15. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4 p.m. New York time, on March 15.
March 15

The 2016 league year and free agency period begin at 4 p.m., New York time.

The first day of the 2016 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 15. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4 p.m., New York time and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time on March 15.

Trading period for 2016 begins at 4 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2015 contracts.

March 20-23 Annual League Meeting in Boca Raton, Fla.
April 4

Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2015 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.

April 18

Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

April 22

Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.

April 27

Deadline for prior club to exercise right of first refusal to restricted free agents.

April 28-30

2015 NFL Draft, Chicago, Illinois.