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Important Dates on the 2022 NFL Calendar


On Thursday, the NFL announced its important dates for the first half of 2022.

Here's a look at what to watch and plan for as we get ready to turn the page to January.


Jan. 10: Clubs may begin signing free agent players for the 2022 season.

Jan. 15-17: Wild Card Playoff Games

Jan. 22: Divisional Playoff Games begin

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

Jan. 29: NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Rose Bowl: Pasadena, California.

Jan. 30: AFC and NFC Championship Games


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

Feb. 5: Senior Bowl, Hancock Whitney Stadium: Mobile, Alabama

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

Feb. 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

Feb. 13: Super Bowl LVI, SoFi Stadium: Inglewood, California

Feb. 22: Waiver system begins for 2022

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

Feb. 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 1:00 p.m. PT, 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 1:00 p.m. PT on March 16.

March 16:

  • Prior to 1:00 p.m. PT, clubs must exercise options for 2022 on all players who have option clauses in their 2021 contracts
  • Prior to 1:00 p.m. PT, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation
  • Prior to 1:00 p.m. PT, 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
  • Top 51 Rule begins. All clubs must be under the 2022 Salary Cap prior to 1:00 p.m. PT
  • All 2021 player contracts will expire at 1:00 p.m. PT
  • The 2022 league year and free agency period begin at 1:00 p.m. PT
  • 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
  • Trading period for 2022 begins at 1:00 p.m. PT after expiration of all 2021 contracts

Late March: International Player Pathway Pro Day (TBD)

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


Apr. 4: Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2021 season may begin offseason workout programs

Apr. 18: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs

Apr. 22: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets

Apr. 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 1:00 p.m. PT only with his prior club.
  • 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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