With free agency and the draft on the horizon after the NFL’s final game of the season, here is a preliminary look at the 2014 calendar for the Patriots and the NFL. Hopefully some of you will find this to be a handy piece of reference over the course of the year. Dates with an ~ elliptical are best guesses based on recent history, while the rest of the dates should be accurate. Updates will be made periodically throughout the year as more information becomes available. Times designated are eastern time zone unless noted otherwise.
Jan 4-5: Wild Card Playoff Games
Jan 5: Assistant coaches that are under contract to playoff clubs that have byes in the Wild Card weekend may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of the Wild Card games.
Jan 11-12: Division Round Playoff Games
Jan 12: Assistant coaches that are under contract to playoff clubs that won their Wild Card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of Division Round Playoff games.
Jan 18: East-West Shrine Game, St. Petersburg FL
Jan 19: Conference Championship Games
Jan 25: Senior Bowl, Mobile AL
Jan 25: An assistant coach whose team is participating in the Super Bowl, who has previously interviewed for another clubâ€™s head coaching job, may have a second interview with such club no later than the Sunday preceding the Super Bowl.
Feb 2: Super Bowl 48, East Rutherford NJ; 6:30 pm on CBS
Feb 3: Waiver system begins for 2014. A 24-hour claiming period will be in effect through the Friday prior to the last regular season game (waivers requests made on Friday and Saturday of each week will expire at 4:00 p.m. on the following Monday.) Players with at least four previous pension-credited seasons whom a club desires to terminate are not subject to the waiver system until after the trading deadline.
Feb 8-9: Regional Combine, Houston TX
~ Feb 15 – March 1: Existing season ticket holders invoiced for 2014 season tickets, with full payment due around March 31
Feb 15-16: Regional Combine, Florham Pak NJ
Feb 17: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
Feb 19-25: NFL Combine, Indianapolis IN
Feb 22: Regional Combine, Los Angeles CA
Feb 28: League announces official salary cap figures for 2014. This will include each team’s individual adjusted cap number, and how much was carried forward from the previous season.
edit: NFL announces that the 2014 cap will be $133 million per club, a $10 million increase over 2013.
edit 2: Per Miguel at PatsCap.com, the Patriots adjusted cap number for 2014 will be $139,184,450; that leaves the Pats with $15,024,469 in cap space with 65 signed or tendered players at this point in time.
March 1-April 2: Colleges hold their Pro Days for NFL scouts.
March 1: Regional Combine, Tampa FL
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 3: Prior to 4:00 p.m., deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 8-9: Regional Combine, Atlanta GA
March 8-11: Free Agent Contact Commences
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 2013 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m. on March 11. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m. on March 11.
March 11: Start of the 2014 League Year
The 2014 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m. The first day of the 2014 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m. on March 11. 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., on March 11.
March 11: Prior to 4:00 p.m. clubs must exercise options for 2014 on all players who have option clauses in their 2013 contracts.
March 11: Prior to 4:00 p.m. clubs must submit Qualifying Offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts and to whom they desire to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
March 11: Prior to 4:00 p.m. clubs must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2013 contracts and who have fewer than three Accrued Seasons of free agency credit.
March 11: Top-51 Rule begins. All clubs must be under the 2014 Salary Cap prior by 4:00 p.m.
March 11: All 2013 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m.
March 11: Trading period for 2014 begins at 4:00 p.m., after expiration of all 2013 contracts.
March 15: Regional Combine, Chicago IL
March 22: Regional Combine, Miami FL
March 22-23: Regional Combine, Seattle WA
March 23-26: Annual NFL Owners Meeting, Orlando FL
~ March 24: Compensatory Draft Picks Announced
~ March 25: With compensatory picks announced, the full order of all draft picks will be finalized and announced.
March 29-30: Regional Combine, Indianapolis IN
March 29-30: Regional Combine, Baltimore MD
April 7: Clubs with new head coaches may begin off-season workout programs.
~ April 10: Preseason schedule announced
~ April 10: Patriots Hall of Fame Nomination Committee meets to nominate three finalists for this year’s fan election process.
April 12-13: Super Regional Combine, Detroit MI
April 21: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin off-season workout programs.
Teams may have up to a maximum of ten Organized Team Activities (OTAs) during the offseason.
~ April 16: Pats voluntary off-season strength and conditioning program begins, continuing until mid-June.
~ April 16-29: Per the CBA this is Phase One of OTAs and can last for two weeks. It is limited to just strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation. 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 19: NFL regular season schedule announced, 8:00 PM (NFLN and ESPN)
~ April 21: Patriots announce three finalists for the team’s Hall of Fame; fan voting commences, concluding on ~ May 15. The winner will be announcedÂ ~ May 21Â and the induction ceremony will likely be held the day prior to the first pre-season game, with a halftime ceremony at the home opener.
~ 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.
- Phase two includes on-field workouts, drills, and team practice conducted on a “separate” basis.
- 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 2: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.
May 7: Deadline for old clubs to match offer sheets submitted by Restricted Free Agents.
May 8-10: 2014 NFL Draft, New York City NY
May 8: First round of the NFL Draft, New York City, 8:00 PM (NFLN and ESPN)
May 9: Second and third round of the NFL Draft, 7:00 PM (NFLN and ESPN)
May 10: Rounds 4-7 of the NFL Draft, 12 Noon (NFLN and ESPN)
May 10: Teams can sign undrafted free agents (UDFA) as soon as the draft is concluded.
~ May 15: Fan voting for the team Hall of Fame concludes.
~ May 17-19: Pats rookie mini-camp.
~ May 17: 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 2013 Draft are permitted to participate in minicamps or meetings. If final examinations at a playerâ€™s school conclude after this date, the player is prohibited from participating in any activities until after the playerâ€™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 20-June 13: 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.
- 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permissible.
- Participation is not mandatory.
- OTAs are closed to the public; media access is limited.
May 19-21: NFL Spring League Meeting, Atlanta GA
May 21: Location of future Super Bowls announced
~ May 26-27: Pats’ first OTA
~ May 29: Pats OTA
~ May 30: Pats OTA
June 1: A three day waiver claiming period goes into effect, and continues until the last business day before July 4
June 2: Deadline for Prior Club to send â€śJune 1 Tenderâ€ť to its unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a Player Contract with a Club by July 22 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later, he may negotiate or sign a Player Contract from that date until the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, at 4:00 p.m., only with his Prior Club.
June 2: Deadline for Prior Club to send â€śJune 1 Tenderâ€ť to its unsigned Restricted Free Agents who received a Qualifying Offer for a Right of First Refusal Only in order for such player to be subject to the CBAâ€™s â€śJune 15 Tenderâ€ť provision.
~ June 4-5: Pats OTA
~ June 7-8: Pats OTA
~ June 11-13: Pats full squad mandatory mini-camp; this is also known as Phase Four of OTAs
June 16: Deadline for Restricted Free Agent to accept a qualifying offer.
June 16: Deadline for a club to withdraw a qualifying offer to restricted free agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by submitting a June 15 Tender: a one-year deal at 110 percent of the player’s prior-year salary (with all other terms of his prior-year contract carried forward unchanged).
June 22-28: NFL rookie symposium, Aurora OH
Mon July 7: A 24 hour waiver claiming period goes in to effect from the first business day after July 4, continuing until the Friday prior to the final regular season weekend.
~ Wed July 9: NFL Supplemental Draft
~ Mon July 14: Patriots put single game tickets on sale, 10:00 AM
Tue July 15: Deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign that player to a multi-year contract or extension. After this date, the player can not be signed beyond that team’s last regular season game.
~ Tue July 15: Clubs are allowed to open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players beginning seven days prior to the club’s earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for veterans. Veteran players may report to training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the club’s scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.
Veteran players (defined as a player with at least one pension-credited season) other than quarterbacks or â€śinjured playersâ€ť (as defined in the CBA) may report to a clubâ€™s preseason training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the clubâ€™s first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.
Veteran quarterbacks and injured players may be required to report to the clubâ€™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 clubâ€™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 16-18: Patriots send tickets out to season ticket holders.
~ Sun July 20: Pats rookies report to training camp in Foxboro.
Wed July 23: End of signing period for Unrestricted Free Agents who received June 1 tender from their prior club; the old club now has exclusive negotiating rights to these players until the Tuesday after the 10th regular-season weekend.
Wed July 23: End of signing period for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, the prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.
~ Thur July 24: Pats veterans report to training camp (teams can begin training camp 15 days prior to first preseason game); limited media availability, and closed to public.
~ Fri July 25: Training camp practice, 9:00-11:30 AM (open to public)
~ Sat July 26: Training camp practice, 9:00-11:30 AM (open to public)
~ Sun July 27: Training camp practice, 9:00-11:30 AM (open to public)
~ Mon July 28: Annual ticketed (free) in-stadium practice for season ticket holders and residents of Foxboro;Â 6:30-9:00 PM.
Sat Aug 2: NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Canton OH, 7:00 PM (NFLN); 2014 inductees are Ray Guy, Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Aeneas Williams, Claude Humphrey, Michael Strahan and Andre Reed.
Sun Aug 3: Hall of Fame Game (first preseason game; Bills vs Giants), Canton OH, 8:00 PM (NBC)
~ Tue Aug 5: Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an accrued season.
~ Tue Aug 5: Deadline for teams to trade rights for unsigned drafted rookies.
Aug 6-9: NFL preseason week one
Aug 13-16: NFL preseason week two
Aug 20-23: NFL preseason week three
~ Tues Aug 26: Roster cutdown to a maximum of 75 players, 4:00 PM
Wed Aug 27: All tryouts on this date and for the remainder of the season must be reported to the league.
Aug 27-28: NFL preseason week four
~ Sat Aug 30: Roster cutdown to a maximum of 53 players, 6:00 PM
~ Sat Aug 30: Teams with players on the active/physically unable-to-perform or active/non-football-injury-or-illness lists must select one of the following options: (a) place player on reserve/physically unable-to-perform list or reserve/non-football-injury-or-illness (whichever applicable); (b) request waivers; (c) terminate contract; (d) trade contract; or (e) continue to count the player on the active roster, as of 6:00 PM.
~ Sun Aug 31: Final day of preseason training camp for all clubs.
~ Sun Aug 31: Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction expires, 12 noon.
~ Sun Aug 31: Teams 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; a player cannot be on a practice squad for more than three seasons; 12 noon.
~ Tue Sept 2: Teams are now permitted to place one player on reserve/injured as “designated for return”, 4:00 PM.
~ Wed Sept 3: Deadline for all NFL player contracts, practice player contracts, tender offers and miscellaneous amounts to fit within each club’s 2013 salary cap in anticipation of the midnight expiration of the Top 51 Rule.
~ Wed Sept 3: Top 51 Rule expires for all teams, 12 midnight; full salary cap is now enforced.
Thur Sept 4: First regular season game of NFL season; 8:30Â PM (NBC)
Sun Sept 7: Week 1 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Sun Sept 14: Week 2
Sun Sept 21: Week 3
Sun Sept 28: Week 4
Sun Oct 5: Week 5
Sun Oct 12: Week 6
Sun Oct 19: Week 7
Sun Oct 26: Week 8
Sun Nov 2: Week 9
Sun Nov 9: Week 10
Sun Nov 16: Week 11
Sun Nov 23: Week 12
Thur Nov 27: Thanksgiving day games, commemorating the second anniversary of the Butt-Fumble
Sun Nov 30: Week 13
Sun Dec 7: Week 14
Sun Dec 14: Week 15
Sun Dec 21: Week 16
Sun Dec 28: Week 17
Sat-Sun Jan 3-4, 2015: Wild Card Round of Playoffs
Sat-Sun Jan 10-11, 2015: Division Round of Playoffs
Sun Jan 18, 2015: AFC and NFC Conference Championship Games
Sun Feb 1, 2015: Super Bowl 49, Glendale AZ
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