2022 NFL Key Dates

As we all know, there really is no 'offseason' any longer for the NFL. The train keeps moving even when games aren't being play.

After postseason play ends, the league calendar moves to the NFL Scouting Combine, which runs from March 1-7 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The official start of the 2022 NFL year is March 16 when free agency kicks off.

It's a busy offseason and the timeline below gives a clear picture of what is coming.

2022 NFL Key Dates

January 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 NFL Draft will be sent to clubs on January 21.

January 22 — Divisional Playoff Games begin.

January 28-29 — HBCU Combine, University of South Alabama: Mobile, Alabama.

January 29 — NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Rose Bowl: Pasadena, California.

January 30 — AFC and NFC Championship Games.

February 3 — East-West Shrine Bowl, Allegiant Stadium: Las Vegas, Nevada.

February 5 — Senior Bowl, Hancock Whitney Stadium: Mobile, Alabama.

February 6 — NFL Pro Bowl, Allegiant Stadium: Las Vegas, Nevada.

February 8 — 2021 CFL player contracts expire at 12:00 p.m., New York time. Beginning at 12:01 p.m., New York time, NFL clubs may no longer try out, negotiate with, and/or sign CFL players with 2022 contracts.

February 13 — Super Bowl LVI, SoFi Stadium: Inglewood, California.

February 14 — Waiver system begins for 2022.

February 19 — HBCU Legacy Bowl, Yulman Stadium: New Orleans, Louisiana.

February 22 — First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

March 1-7 — NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium: Indianapolis, Indiana.

March 8 — Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

March 14-16 — 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.

March 16 — Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2022 on all players who have option clauses in their 2021 contracts.

March 16 — Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.

March 16 — Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2021 contracts who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.

March 16 — Top 51 Rule begins. All clubs must be under the 2022 Salary Cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.

March 16 — All 2021 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

March 16 — The 2022 league year and free agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

March 16 — 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.

March 16 — Trading period for 2022 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2021 contracts.

Late March — International Player Pathway Pro Day (TBD)

March 27-30 — Annual League Meeting: Palm Beach, Florida.

April 4 — Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2021 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 28-30 — 2022 NFL Draft: Las Vegas, Nevada.

May 2 — Deadline for prior club to send "May 2 Tender" 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., New York time, only with his prior club.

May 2 — Deadline for clubs to exercise fifth-year option for players selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

May 6-9 or May 13-16 — Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday on one of the two weekends following the Draft.

May 16 — Rookie Football Development Programs begin.

May 19-22 (Tentative) — NFLPA Rookie Premiere, TBD. Invited rookies (typically, first- and/or second-round selections) must be permitted by their respective clubs to attend. Such players are unavailable for offseason workouts, OTA days, and minicamps during this period.

May 23-25 — Spring League Meeting.

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 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).

Late June — Rookie Readiness Program to be held at individual clubs.

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