2021-22 Important NFL Dates

Here is an overview of important NFL dates for the 2021-22 league year. All times are Eastern and all dates are subject to change.

2021-22 NFL IMPORTANT DATES
2021
July
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 multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2021 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.
Mid-July Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies (defined as a player who has never signed a player contract with an NFL club in a prior League Year) beginning seven days prior to the club’s earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for veteran players. A club’s preseason training camp will be deemed to have officially opened on the designated reporting date for all rookies.
Clubs may require first-year players to report on the designated reporting date for all rookies, or at any time thereafter, including, but not limited to, the designated reporting date for veteran quarterbacks and injured players, or the designated reporting date for all other veteran players.
Veteran quarterbacks and “injured players” (as defined in CBA Article 21, Section 6) 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.
Veteran players (defined as a player with at least one pension- credited season) other than quarterbacks or injured players may report to a club’s preseason training camp 47 days prior to a club’s first regular season game if it falls on a Thursday or Sunday or 48 days prior to a club’s first regular season game if it falls on a Monday. For clubs whose first preseason is the Canton Hall of Fame Game, no veteran player other than quarterbacks and injured players will be required to report earlier than 14 days prior to such game.
A five-day acclimation period will apply to players who report to preseason training camp or are on a club’s roster up to and including the mandatory Veteran reporting date. Players who report to camp, or join the Club’s roster, or receive medical clearance to practice during the five-day acclimation period are required to complete as much of the acclimation period as remains. Players who report to camp, or join the Club’s roster, or receive medical clearance to practice after the five-day acclimation period has ended may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical.
A player shall not receive an accrued season for any League Year in which the player is under contract to a club in which he failed to report to the club’s preseason training camp on that player’s mandatory reporting date.
July 20 Beginning on the date that the first training camp opens for rookies (July 20, 2021) through the last business day prior to the Super Bowl (February 14, 2022), all tryouts and visits will be reported to clubs on the Personnel Notice.
July 22 At 4:00 p.m., New York time, signing period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.
At 4:00 p.m., New York time, signing period ends for unrestricted free agents to whom a “UFA Tender” was made by prior club. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.
*or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later.
August
Aug. 5 Hall of Fame Game, Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Canton, Ohio.
Aug. 10 If a drafted rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he cannot be traded to any other club in 2021, and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the Draft in the 2022 League Year.
Aug. 12-16  First Preseason Weekend.
Aug. 17 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 85 players on the Active/Inactive List.
Aug. 19-23  Second Preseason Weekend.
Aug. 24 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 80 players on the Active/Inactive List.
Aug. 26-29  Third Preseason Weekend.
Aug. 31 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List.
Simultaneously with the roster reduction to 53 players, 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; terminate or request waivers with the designation of Failed Physical or 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
Sept. 1 Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
Upon receipt of the Personnel Notice, clubs may establish a Practice Squad, subject to the applicable limits negotiated for the 2021 season (clubs participating in the International Player Development Program may sign one additional international player to a Practice Player Contract.) No club, including the player’s prior club, will be permitted to sign a player to a practice player contract until all clubs have received simultaneous notification via the above Personnel Notice that such player’s prior NFL player contract has been terminated via the waiver system.
Beginning at 4:00 p.m., New York time, any player placed on Reserve/Injured or Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness during the regular season or postseason, may be designated for return later in the season, subject to the applicable procedures negotiated for the 2021 season.
Sept. 5 Final day of preseason training camp for all clubs, as defined in CBA Article 23, Section 10.
Sept. 6-11  In accordance with the Personnel (Injury) Report Policy, each club is required to file a Practice Report with the NFL Communications department by 4:00 p.m., New York time, (or as soon as possible after the completion of practice) every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for a regular season Sunday game; Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for a Thursday game; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for a Monday game; and Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for a Saturday game.
Each club must also file a weekly regular season Game Status Report with the NFL Communications department by 4:00 p.m., New York time (or as soon as possible after the completion of practice) on Wednesday for a Thursday game, Friday for a Sunday game, Saturday for a Monday game, and Thursday for a Saturday game. An update must be reported if there is any change in a player's condition after the initial Game Status Report is filed. Regular Season Week 1.
Sept. 9, 12-13  Regular Season Week 1.
Sept. 28 Beginning on the Tuesday following the third weekend of regular season games, the claiming priority is based on the inverse order of the standing of clubs in the current season’s games.
October
Oct.10 NFL London Series, New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Oct. 12-13  Fall League Meeting, TBD.
Oct. 17 NFL London Series, Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Mid-October  Beginning on the sixth calendar day prior to a club’s seventh regular season game (including any bye week) clubs are permitted to begin practicing players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform and Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness (if the player failed his preseason physical due to a 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 Six game.
November
Nov. 2 All trading ends for 2021 at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
Nov. 3 Players with at least four previous pension-credited seasons are subject to the waiver system for the remainder of the regular season and postseason.
Nov. 16 At 4:00 p.m., New York time, signing period ends for Franchise Players who are eligible to receive offer sheets.
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 NFL in 2021.
Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their unrestricted free agents to whom the “UFA Tender” was made. If still unsigned after this date, such players are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2021.
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 NFL in 2021.
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 2021.
2022
January
Jan. 8-9  Week 18.
Jan. 10 Earliest permissible date for clubs to renegotiate or extend the rookie contract of a drafted rookie who was selected in any round of the 2019 College Draft or any undrafted rookie who signed in 2020. 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 2019 College Draft. To exercise the option, the club must give written notice to the player on or after January 10, 2022, but prior to May 3, 2022 (i.e., not later than May 2).
Jan. 15-16  Wild Card Playoff Games.
Jan. 17 Deadline for college players who are underclassmen to apply for Special Eligibility. A list of underclassmen who have been approved for entry into the 2022 College Draft will be sent to clubs on January 21.
Jan. 22 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California.
Jan. 22-23  Divisional Playoff Games.
Jan. 28 HBCU Combine, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama.
Jan. 30 AFC and NFC Championship Games.
February
Feb. 3 East-West Shrine Bowl, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Feb. 5 Senior Bowl, Hancock Whitney Stadium, Mobile, Alabama.
Feb. 6 NFL Pro Bowl, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Feb. 13 Super Bowl LVI, SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California.
Feb. 19 HBCU Legacy Bowl, Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana.
March
Mar. 1-7 NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Mar. 8 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
Mar. 14-16 During the period beginning at 12:00 noon, New York time, on March 14 and ending at 3:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 16, 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 2021 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 16.
During the above two-day negotiating period, a prospective UFA who is not represented by an NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor is permitted to communicate directly with a new club’s front office officials (excluding the head coach and other members of the club’s coaching staff) regarding contract negotiations.
No prospective unrestricted free agent is permitted to execute a contract with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 16.
Mar. 16 The 2022 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
The first day of the 2022 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 16. Clubs will receive a Personnel Notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 16.
Mar. 16 Trading period for 2022 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2021 contracts.
Mar. 27-30 Annual League Meeting, The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida.
April
April 4 Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2021 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
April 18 Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs
April 20 Deadline to bring draft-eligible players to their facilities for a physical examination.
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 27 Deadline to time, test, and interview draft-eligible players.
April 28-30 NFL Draft, Las Vegas, Nevada.
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