A Look At The NFL's Important Dates For The 2005 Offseason

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JANUARY

29: Senior Bowl, Mobile, Alabama.

FEBRUARY

6: Super Bowl XXXVIII, Jacksonville, Florida

8: First day clubs can designate Franchise or Transition players.

13: AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, Honolulu, Hawaii.

22: Waiver system begins for 2005. Waivers will expire on the first business day of the new League Year. Players with at least four previous pension-credited seasons that a club desires to terminate are not subject to the waiver system until after the trading deadline.

22: Deadline at 4 p.m., New York time, for clubs to designate Franchise and Transition Players.

23: First day of window period for signing designated Franchise Players to multi-year contracts or extensions.

23 - March 1:Combine Timing and Testing, RCA Dome, Indianapolis, Indiana.

MARCH

1: Employer clubs are no longer obligated to grant permission to another club to discuss a position as a Head Coach with an assistant coach who is under contract for the succeeding season or seasons. However, such permission may be voluntarily granted.

1: Beginning on this date and through the conclusion of the 2005 Player Selection Meeting, an employer club is not obligated to grant permission to a club seeking to discuss employment as a high-level employee with an individual whose current responsibilities include gathering information on and evaluating draft-eligible players or veteran free agent players. Such permission may be voluntarily granted.

1: Expiration date of all player contracts due to expire in 2005.

1: Deadline for exercising options for 2005 on all players who have option clauses in their 2004 contracts.

1: Deadline for submission of Qualifying Offers by clubs to their Restricted Free Agents whose contracts have expired and to whom they desire to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.

1: Deadline for clubs to submit offer of minimum salary to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with fewer than three seasons of free agency credit whose contracts have expired.

2: Free Agency period begins.

2: Trading period begins for 2005 after expiration of all 2004 contracts.

2: A claiming period of three business days is in effect for waiver requests made prior to May 1.

16: Deadline at 4 p.m., New York time, for clubs to sign Franchise Players to multi-year contracts or extensions.

20-23: NFL Annual Meeting.

21: Clubs may begin off-season programs and mini-camps. Programs may run a maximum of 14 weeks.

APRIL

2: NFL Europe season begins.

15: Deadline for signing of Offer Sheets by Restricted Free Agents.

22: Deadline for Old Club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.

23-24: Annual Player Selection Meeting.

MAY

2: Claiming period of 10 calendar days begins in waiver system.

9-11: Coaches Career Development Symposium.

16: Except for a three-day mini-camp held within 15 days of the draft, this is the first day that players eligible for the 2005 Draft are permitted to participate in mini-camps, practices, or meetings. If final examinations at a player's school conclude after this date, the player is prohibited from participating in any activities until after the player's final day of examinations. If the player has left or leaves school, he is prohibited from participating in any club activities until after the final day of examinations at his school.

24-25: NFL Spring Meeting.

JUNE

1: Deadline for Old Club to send tender to its unsigned Restricted Free Agents or to extend Qualifying Offer, whichever is greater, in order to retain rights.

1: Deadline for Old Club to send tender to its unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents to retain rights if player is not signed by another club by July 22.

2: Any unamortized signing bonus amounts will be included in the succeeding year's Team Salary for any players removed from the team's roster other than by trade.

11:World Bowl XIII, Dusseldorf, Germany.

15: Deadline for club to withdraw Qualifying Offer to Restricted Free Agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting tender of one-year contract at 110 percent of previous year's Paragraph 5 salary (with all other terms carried forward unchanged).

26-29: Rookie Symposium.

JULY

Mid-July: Preseason training camps open. Clubs not permitted to open official preseason camp earlier than July 5. Veteran players cannot be required to report earlier than 15 days prior to club's first pre-season game or July 15, whichever is later. The July 15 date is not applicable to clubs playing five pre-season games. Except for quarterbacks and "injured" players, veterans cannot participate in any organized football activity for 10 days prior to mandatory reporting date.

15: On or after this date a club that extends an existing Player Contract for a Franchise Player shall not be deemed to have utilized its Franchise Player designation for the period of the extension.

22:Signing period ends at 4 p.m., New York time, for Unrestricted Free Agents to whom a June 1 tender was made by Old Club, and for Transition Players. After this date and through 4 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday after the 10th regular season weekend, Old Club has exclusive negotiating rights to these players.*

*or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later.

AUGUST

6-8:Hall of Fame Weekend.

8: Hall of Fame Game, Canton, Ohio.

9: If a Drafted Rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he may not be traded to any other club in 2005.

9: Deadline for players under contract to report to earn a season of free agency credit.

11-15: First Preseason Weekend.

13-17:Clubs have until five days prior to their game on the second preseason weekend to provide written notice to certain unsigned players and the NFLPA of their intent to place them on the Exempt List if they fail to report no later than one day prior to that weekend's game. Any player who fails to report prior to the deadline will be ineligible to play or receive compensation for at least three games (preseason or regular season) from the time that he reports.

18-22: Second Preseason Weekend.

25-29: Third Preseason Weekend.

30: Roster cut-down to maximum of 65 players on Active List by 4 p.m., New York time.

31: All tryouts on this date and for the remainder of the season must be reported to the League office.

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