Key Dates for the 2019 NFL Offseason


What do you do in the offseason? That’s a question I get asked a lot. The reality of it is, there are plenty of things going on in the NFL world year-round. So now that the 2018 regular season is over, I’m here to get you through the offseason with some key dates to keep an eye on as we wait (not so patiently, in my case) for the start of the 2019 season.

With the Buccaneers in the process of hiring a new head coach for the upcoming year, their timeline will be slightly different than the teams who haven’t, as noted below. Namely, teams that have a newly hired head coach can begin their offseason program two weeks earlier than those who don’t. Regarding the search itself, there are specific deadlines as to when you can talk to coaches already in the NFL as assistants who are in the playoff hunt. The Bucs have already gotten one such interview out of the way with their interview of Kansas City Chiefs’ Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

See below for more important dates on the NFL schedule:

January 6 - Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that have byes in the Wild Card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of the Wild Card games.

January 13 - Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that won their Wild Card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of Divisional Playoff games.

January 14 - Deadline for college players who are underclassmen to apply for special eligibility. A list of underclassmen who have been approved for entry into the 2019 NFL Draft will be sent to clubs on January 18.

January 19 –  East-West Shrine Game, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California

January 26  – Senior Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama

January 27  – NFL Pro Bowl, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida

February 3  – Super Bowl LIII, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

February 26 – March 4 – NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

March 5  –      Deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition players (prior to 4:00 p.m. ET)

March 13  –    HAPPY NEW YEAR! The 2019 league year and free agency period begin at 4:00 p.m. ET

April 1  –        Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2018 regular season may begin offseason workout programs

April 25-27  – 2019 NFL Draft, Nashville, Tennessee

Mid-July   –    Clubs are permitted 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 veteran players.

August 1   –    Hall of Fame Game, Canton, Ohio

August 31   –  Clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List (prior to 4 p.m. ET)

September 5, 8-9 – Regular Season Week 1 (a.k.a. WE MADE IT)