It’s on! A specific chain of events has to happen between now and the official start of the 2011 NFL regular season. Below is the step-by-step calendar, list of deadlines and dates that will guide you through this condensed version of free agency and the pre-season:
NFL will publish the 2011 Free Agency List, which will become effective July 29, 2011 at 6:00 p.m., New York time.
At 10:00 a.m., New York time, Club facilities open. Players may report for physicals and voluntary strength and conditioning.
At 10:00 a.m., New York time, Trading begins for 2011 League Year.
Rosters expanded to ninety (90) man limit.
At 10:00 a.m., New York time, Clubs may negotiate with and SIGN their own Drafted Rookies and any Undrafted Rookie. Clubs may have such players report to the Club’s facilities for physical examinations prior to signing.
All 2011 Contracts signed on or after July 26 shall be binding upon the player and the Club when signed, but shall not become effective unless a CBA is ratified by the NFLPA (August 4)
At 10:00 a.m., New York time, Clubs may NEGOTIATE with, but not sign, or extend Offer Sheets to, their own UFAs, RFAs, Exclusive Rights Players and Franchise Players and other Clubs’ UFAs, RFAs, non-exclusive Franchise Players and free agents.
A Club may require a player to report for a mandatory physical examination in order for the player to qualify for any bonus in a preexisting contract if the “measuring date” for such a bonus has been changed pursuant to CBA Article 11 (Transition Rules for the 2011 League Year).
Camp opens for ten Clubs whose first preseason game is on August 11 (ARZ, BLT, DAL, DEN, JAX, NE, OAK, PHI, SD, SEA)
Camp opens for ten Clubs whose first preseason game is on August 12
(ATL, CIN, DET, KC, MIA, NO, PIT, SF, TB, WAS)
At 4:01 p.m., New York time, waivers begin for the 2011 League Year
Camp opens for ten Clubs whose first preseason game is on August 13 (BUF, CAR, CHI, CLV, GB, IND, MIN, NYG, STL, TEN)
At 6:00 p.m., New York time, Clubs may SIGN, or extend Offer Sheets to, all eligible players, in addition to Drafted and Undrafted Rookies. Clubs may have such players report to the Club’s facilities for physical examinations prior to signing. Eligible players may visit or try out at any Club facility.
Veteran players who sign Player Contracts on or after 6:00 p.m., New York time, on July 29 shall be required to report to, and remain with, their Clubs, except that, prior to the start of the 2011 League Year on August 4, such players may not participate in on-field activities, workouts, weight training or other physical activities, but shall be required to attend meetings, classroom instruction and any other non-physical activities scheduled during the Club’s preseason training camp.
The restrictions set forth above shall not apply to Drafted or Undrafted Rookies who are under contract, regardless of the date upon which such players signed their Player Contracts. If any such player is injured as the result of participating in training camp activities, the terms of the player’s contract shall cover such injury whether or not the CBA is ratified.
If a preexisting contract contains a “measuring date” related to Salary and/or the exercise or non-exercise of any Club option, which measuring date: (A) was expressed as a calendar date that fell between March 11, 2011 and July 25, 2011 or (B) was expressed solely as being related to a certain number of days from the start of the 2011 League Year, such measuring date shall be deemed amended to be 4:00 p.m., New York time on July 29, 2011, provided the player has undergone any physical examination required by the Club on July 26 or 27. If the player fails or refuses to undergo such physical, as directed by the Club, the measuring date shall be extended by one day for each day the player fails to report for the physical.
Camp opens for two Clubs whose first preseason game is on August 15 (NYJ, HST)
First day of 2011 League Year at 4:01 p.m., New York time, assuming NFLPA has ratified the CBA
Top 51 begins at 4:01 p.m., New York time
All Clubs must be within the Salary Cap at 4:01 p.m., New York time
All 2011 contracts signed on or after July 26 become effective at 4:01 p.m., New York time, assuming NFLPA has ratified the CBA
Deadline for players under contract to report to their Clubs to earn an Accrued Season for free agency
First Preseason Weekend
Deadline: if a Drafted Rookie has not signed a Player Contract by August 12, he cannot be traded during his initial League Year and may sign a Player Contract only with the drafting Club until the day of the Draft in the next League Year
Each Club has until five days prior to its second pre-season game
to provide any tendered but unsigned Exclusive Rights Player or Restricted Free Agent with written notice of the Club’s intent to place the player on the Exempt List if the player fails to report at least the day before the Club’s second preseason game.
Second Preseason Weekend
Deadline for signing of Offer Sheets by Restricted Free Agents
Deadline for June 1 Tender to Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a Player Contract with a Club by September 3, he may negotiate or sign a Player Contract from September 3 until the Tuesday following the tenth week of the regular season, at 4:00 p.m. New York time, only with his Prior Club
Deadline for Old Club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents
Deadline for June 1 Tender to Restricted Free Agents who have received a Qualifying Offer for a Right of First Refusal Only. The Prior Club shall be the only Club with which the player may negotiate or sign a Player Contract during the period from August 25 until the Tuesday following the tenth week of the regular season.
Third Preseason Weekend.
Possible roster reduction from 90 players to 75 players
Fourth Preseason Weekend.
Signing Period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents who received the June 1 Tender.
Roster reduction to 53 players
Deadline for June 15 Tender to Restricted Free Agents. If player’s Qualifying Offer is greater than 110% of the player’s prior year’s Paragraph 5 Salary (with all other terms of his prior year contract carried forward unchanged), the Club may withdraw the Qualifying Offer on September 5 and retain its exclusive negotiating rights to the player, so long as the Club immediately tenders the player a one-year Player Contract of at least 110% of his prior year’s Paragraph 5 Salary, with all the terms of his prior year’s contract carried forward unchanged.
First Regular Season weekend.
Second Regular Season weekend
September 20 Deadline at 4:00 p.m., New York time, for any Club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multi-year contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his Prior Club for the 2011 season, and such contract may not be extended until after the Club’s last regular season game.