The Dallas Cowboys have been in off-season mode for a couple weeks now after the unfortunate Divisional Round loss to the Green Bay Packers.
This week Jason Garrett and his coaching staff are in Orlando, Florida coaching for the 2017 Pro Bowl, although I'm sure they would prefer being in Mobile, Alabama coaching for the Senior Bowl instead. We all know that the Pro Bowl has become somewhat of a joke, but the Cowboys coaching staff is there “coaching” nonetheless.
With the 2017 NFL off-season just getting underway, I thought it would be a good time to share with all of you some of the important dates to remember for not only the Dallas Cowboys, but the rest of the league.
January 28 – Senior Bowl, Ladd-Pebbles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama
January 29 – Pro Bowl, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida
January 31 – Deadline for NFL teams to try out and a negotiate with CFL players whose 2016 contracts have expired
February 5 – Super Bowl LI, NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
February 6 – 2017 Waiver system begins
February 11 – NFL Regional Combine, Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Seattle, WA
February 14 – NFL teams can sign CFL players whose 2016 contracts have expired
February 15 – NFL teams can designate Franchise and Transition Players
February 18 – NFL Regional Combine, Methodist Training Center, Houston, Texas
February 25-26 – NFL Regional Combine, Inova Sports Performance Center, Washington, D.C.
February 28-March 6 – NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
March 1 – Deadline for teams to designate Franchise and Transition Players
March 4 – NFL Regional Combine, Minnesota Vikings Practice Facility, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
March 7-9 – Teams are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with agents of players who are Unrestricted Free Agents, but the contract cannot be executed until March 9.
March 9 – Teams must exercise all 2017 options on all players who have option clauses in their 2016 contracts.
The change of the NFL league year
Teams must submit qualifying offers to Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to whom they desire to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
Teams must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players who have expiring 2016 contracts that have less than three years of free agency credit.
All teams must be under the 2017 salary cap.
All 2016 player contracts will expire.
2017 league year in free agency begins.
The trading period officially begins.
March 11 – NFL Regional Combine, New Orleans Saints Practice Facility, Metairie, Louisiana
March 26-29 – Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona
April 3 – Teams with new head coaches can begin off-season workouts.
April 17 – Teams with returning head coaches can begin off-season workouts.
April 21 – Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheet.
April 27-29 – 2017 NFL Draft, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 5-8 – Teams can hold their three day rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
May 12-15 – Teams can hold their three day rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
May 15 – Rookie Football Development Programs begin.
May 18-21 – NFLPA Rookie Premiere. All invited rookies have to be permitted to attend by their respective teams.
May 22-24th – Spring League Meeting, Chicago, Illinois
June 15 – Deadline for teams to sign their designated Franchise Player to a multiyear contract. After this date they can only sign them to a one-year deal.
Sometime Late June – Rookie Transition Program to be held by individual teams. Attendance is mandatory by all rookies.
Mid-July – Teams can open up preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players beginning seven days prior to the mandatory reporting date for veterans.
July 22 – Signing period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents and Transition Players.
August 3 – Hall of Fame Game, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio
August 5 – Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio