I’ve been putting one of these calendars together for each of the last several years, which I have found to be a handy reference piece over the course of the season; hopefully some of you may find it equally useful as well. Many of the dates have not yet been announced so for now those events are designated with an OTG-style ~ elliptical; I’ll try to update this in a month or so when more specific dates are announced.


Feb 20: Teams may designate franchise or transition players

Feb 22-28: NFL Scouting Combine, Indianapolis IN

Feb 25-26: Regional Combine, New York Jets Training Facility


March 1: Teams are no longer required to grant permission to another team to discuss the position of head coach with an assistant coach

March 1-April 6: Colleges hold their Pro Days for NFL scouts

March 3: Regional Combine, Chicago Bears Training Facility

March 5: Deadline for teams to designate franchise and transition players, 4:00 PM

March 10-11: Regional Combine, Atlanta Falcons Training Facility

March 12: League announces official salary cap figure for 2012 ($120.6 million), a $225,000 increase over the 2011 cap; Patriots carry forward $6.7 million they didn’t use on the ’11 cap for an adjusted individual cap number of $127.3 million, giving them $16.2 million available one day prior to the start of free agency and the new league year

March 13: Official start of the 2012 league year, 4:00 PM

March 13: Deadline for teams to submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents (RFA) with expiring contracts and to whom they desire to retain a right of first refusal/compensation, 4:00 PM

March 13: Deadline for teams to submit a minimum salary offer to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2011 contracts (ERFA) and who have fewer than three seasons of free agency credit, 4:00 PM

March 13: Deadline for teams to exercise options for 2012 on all players who have option clauses in their 2011 contract, 4:00 PM

March 13: Start of free agency: all players with contracts ending in 2011 other than those outlined above become free agents (UFA) and can negotiate a new contract with any team, 4:00 PM

March 13: Start of the trading period, 4:00 PM

March 17: Regional Combine, Cleveland Browns Training Facility

March 25-28: Annual NFL Owners Meeting, Palm Beach FL

March 26: Compensatory Draft Picks Announced.

March 26: With compensatory picks announced, the full order of all draft picks will be finalized.

March 30-31: Super Regional Combine, Ford Field, Detroit


April 2: Teams that have hired a new head coach can begin off season programs

April 4: Preseason schedule announced

April 10: Patriots Hall of Fame Nomination Committee meets to nominate three finalists for this year’s fan election process

April 16: Teams with a returning head coach can begin off season programs

Teams may have up to a maximum of ten OTAs during the offseason

April  16: Pats voluntary offseason strength and conditioning program begins

April  16-29: Per the new CBA this is Phase One of OTAs and can last for two weeks. Only strength and conditioning coaches may be present; other coaches may not attend or observe in any way. Footballs cannot be used, with the exception of quarterbacks throwing to uncovered receivers, and no helmets may be worn.

April 17: NFL schedule announced

April 20: Deadline for signing of offer sheets by restricted free agents; after this date other teams cannot make offers to RFAs; if player does not sign tender offered him his old team can replace that offer with a tender of 110% of the player’s 2011 base salary.

April 25: Deadline for Old Club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents

April 25: Patriots announce three finalists for the team’s Hall of Fame; fan voting commences, concluding on May 31. The winner will be announced in June and the induction ceremony will be held on Sept 15.

April 26: First round of the NFL Draft, New York City, 8:00 PM (NFLN and ESPN)

April 27: Second and third round of the NFL Draft, 7:00 PM (NFLN and ESPN)

April 28: Rounds 4-7 of the NFL Draft, 12 Noon (NFLN and ESPN)

April 28: Teams can sign undrafted free agents (UDFA) as soon as the draft is concluded.

April  30-May 20: Phase Two of OTAs begins, which can last three weeks.
All coaches are now permitted on the field.
Workouts may include individual player instructions and drills, with offense or defense only but no offense and defense at the same time.
Special-teams drills may also be conducted without opposing units on the field at the same time.
There can be no live contact and no one-on-one competition, and no bump-and-run coverage of receivers by defensive backs.
Helmets are still not permitted.


May 11-12: Pats rookie mini-camp

May 16: Except for a three day minicamp that may be held within 15 days of the draft (above), this is the first day that players eligible for the 2012 Draft are permitted to participate in minicamps or meetings. If final examinations at a player’s school conclude after this date, the player is prohibited from participating in any activities until after the player’s final day of examinations. If the player has left or leaves school, he is prohibited from participating in any club activities until after the final day of examinations at his school.

May 21-June 18: Phase Three of OTAs begins, which can last four weeks.
A total of 10 days of Organized Team Activities may be conducted.
A maximum of three OTA days may be conducted per week during the first two weeks of Phase Three, and four OTA days may be conducted in the third or fourth week, with the mandatory minicamp scheduled for the other week.
In weeks with three OTA days, a Phase Two day may be conducted on the fourth day.
Helmets may be worn, but no other pads.
No live contact is permitted.
No one-on-one offense vs. defense drills are permitted.
Special teams drills are permitted, provided no live contact occurs.

May 21-23: Annual NFL Spring Meeting, Chicago IL

May ~ 23: Pats put single game tickets on sale

May ~ 27-29: OTA: Passing camp

May 31: Fan voting for the team Hall of Fame concludes.


June 1: Deadline for teams to send tender to unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents to receive exclusive negotiating rights for rest of season if another team does not sign player by July 22.

June 1: Deadline for teams to send tender to unsigned Restricted Free Agents, or to extend a qualifying offer to an RFA to retain exclusive negotiating rights.

June ~ 8: Patriots Charitable Foundation Golf Tournament, Bolton MA

June ~ 10: OTA

June 12-14: Full squad mandatory mini-camp

June ~ 15: Winner of the fan voting for induction to the Patriots’ Hall of Fame announced.

June 15: Deadline for teams to withdraw qualifying offer to unsigned Restricted Free Agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting June 15 Tender of one-year contract at 110 percent of previous year’s salary.

June 24-30: Rookie Symposium, Aurora OH


July ~ 5: 24 hour waiver claiming system begins

July ~ 15: NFL Supplemental Draft

July 16: Franchise player signing deadline. Franchise players cannot sign multi-year contracts after this date; they may only sign a one-year contract with the old club, and contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.

July 22: End of signing period for Unrestricted Free Agents who received June 1 tender; old club has exclusive negotiating rights to these players until the Tuesday after the 10th regular-season weekend.

July 22: End of signing period for Transition Players to sign with new clubs.

July 25: Training camp opens (teams can begin training camp 15 days prior to first preseason game).


Aug 4: NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Canton OH, 7 PM (NFLN)

Aug 5: Hall of Fame game (first preseason game), Canton OH, 8 PM (NBC)

Aug 7: Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an accrued season.

Aug 7: Deadline for teams to trade rights for unsigned drafted rookies.

Thursday Aug 9: Preseason week one; New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots, 7:30 PM (WBZ)

Monday Aug 20: Preseason week two; Philadelphia Eagles at New Enland Patriots, 8:00 PM (ESPN)

Friday Aug 24: Preseason week three; New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 7:30 PM (WBZ)

Aug 28: Roster cutdown to a maximum of 80 players

Wednesday Aug 29: Preseason week four; New England Patriots at New York Giants, 7:30 PM (WBZ)


Sept 2: Roster cutdown to a maximum of 53 players

Sept 3: Teams may establish practice squads with a maximum of 8 players

Sept 5: First regular season game of NFL season; Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants, 8:30 PM (NBC)

Sept 9: Week 1: New England Patriots at Tennessee Titans, 1:00 pm (CBS)

Sept 11: Players signed after this date are not guaranteed their full salary

Sept 15: Pats 2012 team Hall of Fame induction ceremony, 5 PM

Sept 16: Week 2: Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots, 1:00 pm (FOX)

Sept 23: Week 3: New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens, 8:20 pm (NBC)

Sept 25: Waiver claims ranked by current (2012) standings rather than previous year’s standings

Sept 30: Week 4: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, 1:00 pm (CBS)

Oct 7: Week 5: Denver Broncos at New England Patriots, 4:15 pm (CBS)

Oct 14: Week 6: New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 pm (CBS)

Oct 16: Trade deadline

Oct 16: Waiver system now also applies to veteran players

Oct 21: Week 7: New Jersey Jets at New England Patriots, 4:15 pm (CBS)

Oct 28: Week 8: New England Patriots vs St. Louis Rams at Wembley Stadium in London, 1:00 pm (CBS)


Nov 4: Week 9: Bye Week

Nov 11: Week 10: Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots, 1:00 pm (CBS)

Nov 18: Week 11; flex scheduling begins

Nov 18: Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots, 1:00 pm (CBS)

Nov 22 (Thanksgiving): Week 12: New England Patriots at New Jersey Jets, 8:20 pm (NBC)

Dec 2: Week 13: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins, 1:00 pm (CBS)

Dec 10 (Monday Night Football): Week 14: Houston Texans at New England Patriots, 8:30 pm (espn)

Dec ~ 12: Invoices for playoff tickets sent to season ticket holders, with payment due about a week later

Dec 16: Week 15: San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots, 8:20 pm (NBC)

Dec 23: Week 16: New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 pm (CBS)

Dec 30: Week 17: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots, 1:00 pm (CBS)

Dec 31: Teams can sign players to futures contracts for the 2013 season


Jan 5-6, 2013: Wild card playoff games

Jan 12-13: Division round playoff games

Jan 20: NFC championship game, 3 pm (FOX)

Jan 20: AFC championship game, 6:30 pm (CBS)

Jan 27: Pro Bowl game, Honolulu HI, 7 pm (CBS)


Feb 3: Super Bowl, New Orleans LA, 6:30 (CBS)

Feb 15 ~ March 1: Existing season ticket holders invoiced for 2013 season tickets, with full payment due ~ March 31



Note: any times referenced are for the eastern time zone



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