Key Offseason Dates for the Arizona Cardinals

Jun 9, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals players run plays during minicamp practice at the Cardinals Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 9, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals players run plays during minicamp practice at the Cardinals Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

What are the key dates for the Arizona Cardinals this offseason?

Now that the offseason has officially begun (Super-what-Bowl?) there are a list of key dates to keep us whetting our appetite over the long spring and summer until training camp begins in August. The team that we saw just last weekend in Carolina will look vastly different to the one that reports, with 90 men, to camp in late July. Here are some key dates to keep in mind.

February 8

Waiver System begins for the 2016 season, meaning players released at this time must still pass through waivers that have been adjusted based on the finish for all teams in the regular season. Waivers go in reverse order to the way the team’s finished, because New England is still included in the waiver picks, even though they do not have a draft pick, Arizona would be 30th on this list because of a better record (Arizona drafts 29th).

February 13

Regional Combine, Houston Texans Training Facility, Houston, TX

February 16

First day to designate Transitional or Franchise Tagged players

February 20

Regional Combine, Arizona Cardinals Training Facility, Tempe, AZ

February 23-29

Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

February 27

Regional Combine, Baltimore Ravens Training Facility, Owings Mills, Maryland

March 1st, 4:00PM EST

Last day to designate Transition or Franchise Tagged players

March 5

Regional Combine Minnesota Vikings Training Facility Max Winter Park, Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

March 7

Clubs may contact Unrestricted Free Agents and begin contractual talks who will become UFAs on March 9th at 4:00PM EST. No action may take place until that deadline

March 9

Clubs may enter into contracts with Unrestricted Free Agents after 4:00PM EST

Before 4:00PM – Clubs must exercise options on players who have 2016 options in their contract

Before 4:00PM – Clubs must submit qualifying proposals to Restricted Free Agents whom they desire to keep on their roster with a first right of refusal

Before 4:00PM – Clubs must submit qualifying tender offers to retain exclusive negotiating rights for players whose contracts expire in at the end of 2015 and have three or fewer years of free agent accrual.

Before 4:00PM – All clubs must be under the 2016 Salary Cap

4:00PM – All 2015 Player Contracts Expire, League Year Resets, Free Agents may be signed

March 12

NFL Regional Combine, New Orleans Saints Training Facility, Metairie, Louisiana.

April 4

Teams with new coaches may begin offseason workouts

April 18

Teams with returning coaches may begin offseason workouts

April 22

Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign tender offers

April 28-30

2016 NFL Draft (Arizona Cardinals choose 29th overall)

May 6-9

Optional three-day Rookie Minicamp

May 9

Rookie Development Program Begins

June 1

Deadline to sign “June 1 Tender Offers”

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 2017 League Year.

July 15

Deadline for Franchise or Transitional Players to sign multi-year contracts, after this date the players must play under the Tag for the season, the average of the top five salaries at that position. Contract may not be extended until the team’s final regular season game in the 2016 season.

July TBD

Training Camp opens for rookies, then veteran players, players may not report no earlier than 15 days before the teams’ first preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.


Training Camp/Preseason

First Thursday in September

Opening weekend of the 2016 season with the Super Bowl Champion team hosting the first regular season game.