With the league year commencing Tuesday at 4:00 pm, here is a preliminary look at the 2015 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. All times designated are eastern time zone unless noted otherwise.

 

Mon Feb 2: Waiver system begins for 2015

Sat Feb 7: Regional Combine, Miami

Tue Feb 10:Beginning at Noon, NFL clubs may begin to sign players whose 2014 CFL contracts have expired. Players under contract to a CFL club for the 2015 season or who have an option for the 2015 season are not eligible to be signed.

Sat Feb 14: Regional Combine, Houston

Mon Feb 16: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players

Feb 17-23: Scouting Combine, Indianapolis

Sat Feb 21: Regional Combine, Denver

Sat Feb 28: Regional Combine, Baltimore

Sat Feb 28: Patriots‘ Cheerleader open preliminary auditions, John J. Ahern Middle School in Foxborough; 10:00 am.

 

March 1-April 2: Colleges hold their Pro Days for NFL scouts.

Mon March 2: League announces official salary cap figures for 2015. This includes each team’s individual adjusted cap number, and how much was carried forward from the previous season. The 2015 salary cap is $143.28 million, an increase of about $10 million from 2014. The adjusted salary cap for the New England Patriots is $144,578,084; please visit Miguel’s PatsCap.com page for more details.

Mon March 2: With the 2015 salary cap officially announced, the league also sets franchise tag values, as they are based on a percentage of the salary cap.

Mon March 2: Teams are no longer required to grant permission to another team to discuss the position of head coach with an assistant coach.

Mon March 2: Deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players, 4:00 pm.

March 7-8: Regional Combine, Chicago

March 7-10: 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 2014 contracts at 4 p.m. ET on March 10. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until after 4 pm on March 10.

Tues March 10: Start of the 2015 League Year
The 2015 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 pm. The first day of the 2015 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m. on March 10. 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.

Tues March 10: Prior to 4:00 pm clubs must exercise options for 2015 on all players who have option clauses in their 2014 contracts.

Tues March 10: Prior to 4:00 pm 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.

Tues March 10: Prior to 4:00 pm clubs must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2014 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.

Tues March 10: Top-51 Rule begins. All clubs must be under the 2015 Salary Cap prior to 4:00 pm.

Tues March 10: All 2014 player contracts expire at 4:00 pm.

Tues March 10: Trading period for 2015 begins at 4:00 pm, after expiration of all 2014 contracts.

Sat March 14: Patriots‘ Cheerleader final auditions, Dana Farber Field House at Gillette Stadium, 10:00 am.

March 19-21: NFL Career Development Symposium, Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix AZ

Sat March 21: Super Regional Combine, Phoenix

Sun March 22: Veteran Combine, Phoenix

Sun March 22- Wed Mar 25: Annual NFL Owner’s Meeting, Phoenix

Mon March 23: Compensatory Draft Picks Announced

Tue March 24: With compensatory picks announced, the full order of all draft picks will be finalized and announced.

Pats’ current draft picks:
1.32.32 (1st round, 32nd of round, 32nd overall)
2.32.64 (2nd round, 32nd of round, 64th overall)
3.32.96 (3rd round, 32nd of round, 96th overall)
3.xx.xxx (3rd round, compensatory – projected)
4.02.xxx (via Tampa Bay from trade of Logan Mankins)
4.32.xxx (4th round, own assigned draft pick)
6.02.xxx (via Tampa Bay, in trade for Jonathan Casillas)
7.02.xxx (via Tennessee, in trade for Akeem Ayers)

5.32.xxx dealt away to Tampa Bay in trade for Jonathan Casillas
6.32.xxx dealt away to Tennessee in trade for Akeem Ayers
7.32.xxx dealt away to Tampa Bay in trade for Greg Salas

 

~ Wed April 1: Patriots Hall of Fame Nomination Committee meets to select three finalists for this year’s fan election process.

Mon April 6: Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2014 regular season may begin offseason workout programs. For this season that would be the Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, New York Jests, Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers.

April 6-20: Per the CBA this is Phase One of off-season workout programs, 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.
– First day clubs with new head coaches can begin Phase One is April 7.
– First day clubs with returning head coaches can begin Phase One is April 21.

~ Wed April 9: NFL preseason schedule announced
– Preseason nationally televised games are announced with exact date and time.
– All other games are announced by week, with exact date and time released about a week later.

~ Sun April 12: 2015 Patriots NFL Draft Preview Party; Noon-4 pm, Putnam Club West, Gillette Stadium. Free event for season ticket holders, waiting list members and guests. Hosted by espnBoston; last year’s panel included Trey Wingo, Mike Reiss, Field Yates, Trevor Matich, Tedy Bruschi and special guest Chandler Jones.

~ Tue April 14: Patriots announce three finalists for the team’s Hall of Fame; fan voting commences, concluding on May 15. The winner will be announced about a week later and the induction ceremony will likely be held the day prior to the first preseason game, with a halftime ceremony at the home opener.

~ Thu April 16: Exact date and times for remaining NFL preseason games released.

Mon April 20: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin off-season workout programs.

April 20: Pats’ voluntary off-season strength and conditioning program begins, lasting two weeks; the entire off-season program concludes June 18.

April 20-May 25: Phase Two of off-season workout programs 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 “seperate” 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.
– First day clubs with new coaches can begin is April 20; May 4 for clubs with returning coaches.

~ Fri April 24: NFL regular season schedule announced, 8:00 pm (NFLN and ESPN).

Fri April 24: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.

Wed April 29: Deadline for old clubs to exercise right of first refusal and match offer sheets submitted by Restricted Free Agents.

April 30-May 2: 2015 NFL Draft, Chicago

Thu April 30: First round of the NFL Draft, Chicago, 8:00 pm (NFLN and ESPN)

 

Fri May 1: Second and third round of the NFL Draft, 7:00 PM (NFLN and ESPN)

Sat May 2: Rounds 4-7 of the NFL Draft, 12 Noon (NFLN and ESPN)

Sat May 2: Teams can sign undrafted free agents as soon as the draft is concluded.

May 8-11: First weekend after the NFL Draft: Clubs may elect to hold their three-day post-draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday. This year teams may also opt to have the rookie minicamp the following weekend.

~ May 8-10: Pats’ rookie mini-camp.

Mon May 11: Rookie Football Development Program begins.

~ May 15: Fan voting for the team Hall of Fame concludes.

May 15-18: Second weekend after the NFL Draft: Clubs may elect to hold their three- day post-draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.

Except for a three day minicamp that may be held within 15 days of the draft (aka rookie minicamp), this is the first day that players eligible for the 2014 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 18: Winner from fan voting for Patriots Hall of Fame announced.

May 18-20: NFL Spring League Meeting, San Francisco

~ May 19: Location of future Super Bowl(s) announced.

~ Tue May 19: Clubs with new head coaches may begin OTAs.

May 19-June 18: Phase Three of off-season workout programs, the Organized Team Activities or 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.
– First day clubs with new coaches can begin is May 20; May 27 for clubs with returning coaches.

Teams may have up to a maximum of ten Organized Team Activities (Phase 3 of off-season workout programs).

~ Tue May 26: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin OTAs.

~ Tue May 26: Patriots‘ first OTA.

~ Thu May 28: Pats OTA #2

~ Fri May 29: Pats OTA #3

 

June 1: A three day waiver claiming period goes into effect, and continues until the last business day before July 4.

June 1: For any player removed from the club’s roster or whose contract is assigned via waivers or trade on or after June 1, any unamortized signing bonus amounts for future years will be included fully in team salary at the start of the 2016 League Year.

June 1: Deadline for prior club to send “June 1 Tender” to its unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a 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 contract from that date until the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, at 4 pm, only with his prior club.

June 1: Deadline for prior club to send “June 1 Tender” 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 CBA’s “June 15 Tender” provision.

~ June 1: Pats OTA #4

~ June 2: Pats OTA #5

~ June 4: Pats OTA #6

~ June 8: Pats OTA #7

~ June 9: Pats OTA #8

~ June 9: First day that NFL clubs with a new head coach can hold mandatory minicamp.
This cannot exceed three days, and is also known as Phase Four of off-season workout programs.

~ June 11: Pats OTA #9

~ June 12: Pats OTA #10

Mon June 15: Deadline for club to withdraw qualifying offer to restricted free agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting “June 15 Tender” of one-year contract at 110 percent of the player’s prior-year Paragraph 5 Salary (with all other terms of his prior-year contract carried forward unchanged).

Tue June 16: First day that NFL clubs with a returning head coach can hold mandatory minicamp.
This cannot exceed three days, and is also known as Phase Four of off-season workout programs.

~ June 16-18: Patriots full squad mandatory mini-camp.

June 21-27: NFL rookie symposium, Aurora OH

 

Tue July 6: 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.

July 8-20: 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 (defined as a player with at least one pension-credited season) other than quarterbacks or “injured players” (as defined in the CBA) 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.

~ Wed July 8: Patriots send tickets out to season ticket holders.

~ Thur July 9: NFL Supplemental Draft

~ Tue July 14: Patriots put single game tickets on sale, 10:00 am

~ Wed 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 21: Patriots rookies report to training camp in Foxboro. Teams 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.

Wed July 22*: 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.
* Note: July 22 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later.

Wed July 22*: 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.
* Note: July 22 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later.

~ Wed July 22: Patriots veterans report to training camp (teams can begin training camp 15 days prior to first preseason game); limited media availability, closed to public – camp day #1

~ Thu July 23: Training camp practice, 9:15-11:30 am (open to public, camp day #2)

~ Fri July 24: Training camp practice, 9:15-11:30 am (open to public, camp day #3)

~ Sat July 25: Training camp practice, 9:15-11:30 am (open to public, camp day #4)

~ Sun July 26: Training camp practice, 9:15-11:30 am (open to public, camp day #5)

~ Tue July 28: Training camp practice, 9:45-12:00 (open to public, camp day #6)

~ Wed July 29: Training camp practice, 9:45-12:00 (open to public, camp day #7)

~ Thur July 30: Training camp practice, 9:45-12:00 (open to public, camp day #8)

~ Fri July 31: Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony for 2015, 4:30 PM; free and open to public

~ Fri July 31: Annual free ticketed in-stadium practice for season ticket holders and residents of Foxboro; 6:30-9:00 pm (camp day #9)

 

Tue Aug 4: Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an accrued season.

Tue Aug 4: Deadline for teams to trade rights for unsigned drafted rookies.
If a drafted rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he cannot be traded to any other club in 2015, and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the draft in the 2016 League Year.

Sat Aug 8: NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Canton OH, 7:00 PM (NFLN); 2015 inductees are running back Jerome Bettis, wide receiver/returner Tim Brown, defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley, contributor Bill Polian, linebacker Junior Seau, guard Will Shields, center Mick Tingelhoff, and contributor Ron Wolf.

Sun Aug 9: Hall of Fame Game (first preseason game); Pittsburgh Steelers vs Minnesota Vikings; Canton OH, 8:00 PM (NBC)

~ Wed Aug 12: Final practice open to public

~ Aug 12-17: NFL preseason week one

~ Aug 19-24: NFL preseason week two

~ Aug 26-31: NFL preseason week three

~ Tues Sept 1: First roster cut down: clubs must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 75 players on the Active List by 4:00 PM.

~ Wed Sept 2: All tryouts on this date and for the remainder of the season must be reported to the league.

~ Thur Sept 3: NFL preseason week four

~ Sat Sept 5: Final roster cut down: clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List by 6:00 PM.

~ Sat Sept 5: Teams with players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options:
– (a) place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable;
– (b) request waivers;
– (c) terminate contract;
– (d) trade contract; or
– (e) continue to count the player on the Active List, as of 6:00 PM.

~ Sun Sept 6: Final day of preseason training camp for all clubs.

~ Sun Sept 6: Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction expires, 12 noon.

~ Sun Sept 6: Once players have cleared waivers, 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.

Mon Sept 7: Teams are now permitted to place one player on reserve/injured as “designated for return”, 4:00 pm.

Tue Sept 8: Deadline for all NFL player contracts, practice player contracts, tender offers and miscellaneous amounts to fit within each club’s 2014 salary cap in anticipation of the midnight expiration of the Top 51 Rule.

Wed Sept 9: Top 51 Rule expires for all teams at 12:00 am (midnight Wednesday night/Thursday morning); full salary cap is now enforced.

Thu Sept 10: NFL season kicks off; defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will host a team yet to be determined.

Sept 10-14: Week 1 of the 2015 NFL regular season

Sept 17-21: Week 2 of the 2015 NFL regular season

Sept 24-28: Week 3 of the 2015 NFL regular season

Tue Sept 29: Waiver change. 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.

 

Oct 1-5: Week 4 of the 2015 NFL regular season

Oct 8-12: Week 5 of the 2015 NFL regular season

Oct 15-19: Week 6 of the 2015 NFL regular season

Tue Oct 20: PUP return – beginning the day after the conclusion of the sixth regular season weekend and continuing through the day after the conclusion of the eleventh 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 on the day after the conclusion of the 21-day period.

Oct 22-26: Week 7 of the 2015 NFL regular season

Oct 29-Nov 2: Week 8 of the 2015 NFL regular season

 

Tue Nov 3: Trade Deadline, 4:00 pm

Nov 5-9: Week 9 of the 2015 NFL regular season

Nov 12-16: Week 10 of the 2015 NFL regular season

Nov 19-23: Week 11 of the 2015 NFL regular season

Thur Nov 26: Thanksgiving Day games, commemorating the third anniversary of the Butt-Fumble

Nov 26-30: Week 12 of the 2015 NFL regular season

 

Dec 3-7: Week 13 of the 2015 NFL regular season

Dec 10-14: Week 14 of the 2015 NFL regular season

Dec 17-21: Week 15 of the 2015 NFL regular season

Dec 24-28: Week 16 of the 2015 NFL regular season

 

~ Sat Jan 2, 2016: Salary cap rollover – clubs must provide the Management Council with written notice, signed by the individual club’s owner, indicating the amount, if any, of the club’s 2015 league year salary cap room to be credited to the club’s 2016 team salary.

Sun Jan 3, 2016: All NFL week 17 games

Mon Jan 4, 2016: Futures/Reserves Contracts – teams whose seasons have ended can sign free agents to 2016 contracts (i.e., practice squad players)

Mon Jan 4, 2016: Fifth Year Option – Earliest permissible date for clubs to renegotiate or extend the rookie contract of a drafted rookie who was selected in any round of the 2012 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.

Mon Jan 4, 2016: Option exercise period begins for Fifth-Year Option for first-round selections from the 2012 NFL Draft. To exercise the option, the club must give written notice to the player on or after December 29, 2015 but prior to May 3, 2016.

Jan 4-10, 2016: 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.

Sat-Sun Jan 9-10, 2016: Wild Card Playoff Games

Jan 9-17, 2016: 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.

Sat-Sun Jan 16-17, 2016: Division Round Playoff Games

~ Sat Jan 16, 2016: East-West Shrine Game, Tropicana Stadium, St. Petersburg FL

Sun Jan 24, 2016: AFC Championship Game, 3:00 PM (CBS)

Sun Jan 24, 2016: NFC Championship Game, 6:30 PM (FOX)

~ Sat Jan 30, 2016: Senior Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile AL

Sun Jan 31, 2016: Pro Bowl (ESPN)

Sun Jan 31, 2016: 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.

 

Sun Feb 7, 2016: Super Bowl 50; Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA; 6:30 pm on CBS

Mon Feb 8, 2016: 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 15 – March 1: Existing season ticket holders invoiced for 2016 season tickets, with full payment due around March 31.

 

 

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