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Free Agency, The Mock Drafts, 2017 (Continual Updates)

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Greetings to everyone in BGO land. The offseason has arrived and today begins a process of looking at pending free agents, mock drafts, and any significant offseason news. Today we are posting key dates to know during this offseason. Tomorrow, we will post the first look at free agency. Friday is the first offseason mock of 2017.

Feel free to use this offseason guide on key dates as a reference. We’ll edit it if the date changes or if there are any key additions/subtractions.

So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.

Important Dates For 2017 NFL Offseason


January 10 -- Coaches of non-playoff clubs are free to discuss employment if contract is due to expire.

January 16 -- Deadline for college players that are underclassmen to apply for special eligibility. A list of players who are accepted into the NFL Draft will be sent to clubs on January 20.

January 21 -- East-West Shrine Game, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida.

January 21 -- NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, StubHub Center, Carson, California.

January 28 -- Senior Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama.

January 31 -- Deadline for NFL clubs to try out and negotiate with CFL players whose 2016 contracts are due to expire at 12 noon, New York time, on February 14.

February 6 -- Waiver system begins for 2017.

February 11 -- NFL Regional Combines, Seattle, Washington.

February 14 -- Beginning at 12 noon EST, NFL clubs may begin to sign players whose 2016 CFL contracts have expired. Players under contract to a CFL club for the 2017 season or who have an option for the 2017 season are not eligible to be signed.

February 15 -- First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

February 18 -- NFL Regional Combines, Houston, Texas.

February 25-26* -- NFL Regional Combines, Washington, D.C. *Kicker/Punter Combine

February 28-March 6 -- NFL Scouting Combine, Indianapolis, Indiana.

March 1 -- Prior to 4:00 p.m. EST, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

March 4 -- NFL Regional Combines, Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

March 7-9 -- 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 2016 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m. EST, on March 9. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m. EST on March 9.

March 9 -- Prior to 4:00 p.m. EST, clubs must exercise options for 2017 on all players who have option clauses in their 2016 contracts.

March 9 -- Prior to 4:00 p.m. EST, 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.

March 9 -- Prior to 4:00 p.m. EST, clubs must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2016 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.

March 9 -- Top-51 Begins. All clubs must be under the 2017 salary cap prior to 4:00 p.m. EST.

March 9 -- All 2016 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m. EST.

March 9 -- The 2017 league year and free agency period begin at 4:00 p.m. EST.
The first day of the 2017 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m. EST on March 9. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m. EST and 11:59:59 p.m. EST on March 9.

March 9 -- Trading period for 2017 begins at 4:00 p.m. EST after expiration of all 2016 contracts.

March 11 -- NFL Regional Combines, Metairie, Louisiana.

March 26-29 -- Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona.

April 3 -- Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2016 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.

April 17 -- Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

April 21 -- Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.

April 27-29 -- 2017 NFL Draft, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

May 5-8 -- Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.

May 9 -- Deadline for Prior Club to send “May 9 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. EST, only with his Prior Club.

May 12-15 -- Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.

May 15 -- Rookie Football Development Programs begin.

May 18-21 -- NFLPA Rookie Premiere. 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 22-24 -- Spring League Meeting, Chicago, Illinois.

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 2 -- For any player removed from the club’s roster or whose contract is assigned via waivers or trade on or after June 2, any unamortized signing bonus amounts for future years will be included fully in Team Salary at the start of the 2018 League Year.

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 Transition Program to be held at individual clubs. Attendance is mandatory for all rookies.

July 15 -- At 4:00 p.m. EDT, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one year contract with his prior club for the 2017 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.

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.

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.

July 22* -- Signing Period ends for unrestricted Free Agents to whom a “May 9 Tender” was made by prior club. After this date and until 4:00 p.m. EST on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.

* Or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later.
July 22 -- Signing Period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 4:00 p.m. EST on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.
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