With free agency and the draft on the horizon after the NFL's final game of the season, here is a preliminary look at the 2014 calendar for the Patriots and the NFL. Hopefully some of you will find this to be a handy piece of reference over the course of the year. Dates with an ~ elliptical are best guesses based on recent history, while the rest of the dates should be accurate. Updates will be made periodically throughout the year as more information becomes available. Times designated are eastern time zone unless noted otherwise.
Jan 4-5: Wild Card Playoff Games
Jan 5: Assistant coaches that are under contract to playoff clubs that have byes in the Wild Card weekend may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of the Wild Card games.
Jan 11-12: Division Round Playoff Games
Jan 12: Assistant coaches that are under contract to playoff clubs that won their Wild Card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of Division Round Playoff games.
Jan 18: East-West Shrine Game, St. Petersburg FL
Jan 19: Conference Championship Games
Jan 25: Senior Bowl, Mobile AL
Jan 25: An assistant coach whose team is participating in the Super Bowl, who has previously interviewed for another club’s head coaching job, may have a second interview with such club no later than the Sunday preceding the Super Bowl.
Feb 2: Super Bowl 48, East Rutherford NJ; 6:30 pm on CBS
Feb 3: Waiver system begins for 2014. A 24-hour claiming period will be in effect through the Friday prior to the last regular season game (waivers requests made on Friday and Saturday of each week will expire at 4:00 p.m. on the following Monday.) Players with at least four previous pension-credited seasons whom a club desires to terminate are not subject to the waiver system until after the trading deadline.
Feb 8-9: Regional Combine, Houston TX
~ Feb 15 - March 1: Existing season ticket holders invoiced for 2014 season tickets, with full payment due around March 31
Feb 15-16: Regional Combine, Florham Pak NJ
Feb 17: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
Feb 19-25: NFL Combine, Indianapolis IN
Feb 22: Regional Combine, Los Angeles CA
Feb 28: League announces official salary cap figures for 2014. This will include each team's individual adjusted cap number, and how much was carried forward from the previous season. edit: NFL announces that the 2014 cap will be $133 million per club, a $10 million increase over 2013. edit 2: Per Miguel at PatsCap.com, the Patriots adjusted cap number for 2014 will be $139,184,450; that leaves the Pats with $15,024,469 in cap space with 65 signed or tendered players at this point in time.
March 1-April 2: Colleges hold their Pro Days for NFL scouts.
March 1: Regional Combine, Tampa FL
March 1: Teams are no longer required to grant permission to another team to discuss the position of head coach with an assistant coach.
March 3: Prior to 4:00 p.m., deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 8-9: Regional Combine, Atlanta GA
March 8-11: Free Agent Contact Commences 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 2013 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m. on March 11. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m. on March 11.
March 11: Start of the 2014 League Year The 2014 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m. The first day of the 2014 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m. on March 11. Clubs will receive a Personnel Notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., on March 11.
March 11: Prior to 4:00 p.m. clubs must exercise options for 2014 on all players who have option clauses in their 2013 contracts.
March 11: Prior to 4:00 p.m. 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 11: Prior to 4:00 p.m. clubs must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2013 contracts and who have fewer than three Accrued Seasons of free agency credit.
March 11: Top-51 Rule begins. All clubs must be under the 2014 Salary Cap prior by 4:00 p.m.
March 11: All 2013 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m.
March 11: Trading period for 2014 begins at 4:00 p.m., after expiration of all 2013 contracts.
March 15: Regional Combine, Chicago IL
March 22: Regional Combine, Miami FL
March 22-23: Regional Combine, Seattle WA
March 23-26: Annual NFL Owners Meeting, Orlando FL
March 24: Compensatory Draft Picks Announced
March 24: With compensatory picks announced, the full order of all draft picks will be finalized and announced.
edit: Patriots receive a 4th-round compensatory pick, the 49th pick of the 4th round and 140th pick overall
Pats' current draft picks: 1.29.29 (1st round, 29th of round, 29th overall) 2.30.62 (2nd round, 30th of round, 62nd overall) 3.29.93 4.30.130 4.40.140 (compensatory selection; cannot be traded) 6.22.198 (from Philadelphia in Isaac Sopoaga trade) 6.30.206 7.29.244
5.29.169 dealt away to Philadelphia in Isaac Sopoaga trade
March 29-30: Regional Combine, Indianapolis IN
March 29-30: Regional Combine, Baltimore MD
April 2: Patriots Hall of Fame Nomination Committee meets to select three finalists for this year's fan election process.
April 2: Draft Day movie special screening for season ticket holders, at Showcase Cinema De Lux at Patriot Place. Doors open at 5:00 PM; Nate Solder and Scott Zolak to speak at 6:00, with movie starting at 6:30.
April 5: Patriots' Cheerleader Tryouts, Dana Farber Field House at Gillette Stadium, 10:00 am
April 7: Clubs with new head coaches may begin off-season workout programs
April 7-21: Per the CBA this is Phase One of off-season workout programs, and can last for two weeks. - It is limited to just strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation. - Only strength and conditioning coaches may be present; other coaches may not attend or observe in any way. - Footballs cannot be used, with the exception of quarterbacks throwing to uncovered receivers, and no helmets may be worn. - First day clubs with new head coaches can begin Phase One is April 7. - First day clubs with returning head coaches can begin Phase One is April 21.
April 9: NFL preseason schedule announced - Preseason nationally televised games are announced with exact date and time. - All other games are announced by week, with exact date and time released about a week later.
April 12-13: Super Regional Combine, Detroit MI
April 13: 2014 Patriots NFL Draft Preview Party; Noon-4 PM, Putnam Club West, Gillette Stadium. Free event for season ticket holders, waiting list members and guests. Hosted by espnBoston; panel includes Trey Wingo, Mike Reiss, Field Yates, Trevor Matich, Tedy Bruschi and special guest Chandler Jones.
April 15: Patriots announce three finalists for the team's Hall of Fame; fan voting commences, concluding on May 15. The winner will be announced about a week later and the induction ceremony will likely be held the day prior to the first preseason game, with a halftime ceremony at the home opener.
April 17: Exact date and times for remaining NFL preseason games released.
April 19: Final auditions for Patriots' cheerleader tryouts
April 21: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin off-season workout programs
April 21: Pats voluntary off-season strength and conditioning program begins, lasting two weeks; the entire off-season program concludes June 19.
April 21-May 26: Phase Two of off-season workout programs begins, which can last three weeks. - All coaches are now permitted on the field. - Workouts may include individual player instructions and drills, with offense or defense only, but no offense and defense at the same time. - Phase two includes on-field workouts, drills, and team practice conducted on a "separate" basis. - Special-teams drills may also be conducted without opposing units on the field at the same time. - There can be no live contact and no one-on-one competition, and no bump-and-run coverage of receivers by defensive backs. - Helmets are still not permitted. - First day clubs with new coaches can begin is April 21; May 5 for clubs with returning coaches.
April 23: NFL regular season schedule announced, 8:00 PM (NFLN and ESPN)
May 2: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.
May 7: Deadline for old clubs to match offer sheets submitted by Restricted Free Agents
May 8-10: 2014 NFL Draft, New York City NY
May 8: First round of the NFL Draft, New York City, 8:00 PM (NFLN and ESPN)
May 9: Second and third round of the NFL Draft, 7:00 PM (NFLN and ESPN)
May 10: Rounds 4-7 of the NFL Draft, 12 Noon (NFLN and ESPN)
May 10: Teams can sign undrafted free agents (UDFA) as soon as the draft is concluded
~ May 13-15: Pats rookie mini-camp edit: cancelled due to late date of 2014 draft, so that the rookies could instead join their teammates in off-season organized team activities
May 15: Fan voting for the team Hall of Fame concludes
May 19: Winner from fan voting for Patriots Hall of Fame announced
May 19: Winner of fan vote for team Hall of Fame announced
May 19-21: NFL Spring League Meeting, Atlanta GA
May 20: Location of future Super Bowl(s) announced
May 20: Except for a three day minicamp that may be held within 15 days of the draft (aka rookie minicamp), this is the first day that players eligible for the 2014 Draft are permitted to participate in minicamps 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
May 20: Clubs with new head coaches may begin OTAs
May 20-June 19: Phase Three of off-season workout programs, the Organized Team Activities or OTAs begins, which can last four weeks. - A total of 10 days of Organized Team Activities may be conducted. - A maximum of three OTA days may be conducted per week during the first two weeks of Phase Three, and four OTA days may be conducted in the third or fourth week, with the mandatory minicamp scheduled for the other week. - In weeks with three OTA days, a Phase Two day may be conducted on the fourth day. - Helmets may be worn, but no other pads. - No live contact is permitted. - No one-on-one offense vs. defense drills are permitted. - Special teams drills are permitted, provided no live contact occurs. - 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permissible. - Participation is not mandatory. - OTAs are closed to the public; media access is limited. - First day clubs with new coaches can begin is May 20; May 27 for clubs with returning coaches.
Teams may have up to a maximum of ten Organized Team Activities (Phase 3 of off-season workout programs).
May 27: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin OTAs
May 27: Patriots' first OTA
May 29: Pats OTA #2
May 30: Pats OTA #3
June 1: A three day waiver claiming period goes into effect, and continues until the last business day before July 4
June 2: Deadline for Prior Club to send “June 1 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., only with his Prior Club.
June 2: 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: Pats OTA #4
June 3: Pats OTA #5
June 5: Pats OTA #6
June 9: Pats OTA #7
June 10: Pats OTA #8
June 10: First day that NFL clubs with a new head coach can hold mandatory minicamp This cannot exceed three days, and is also known as Phase Four of off-season workout programs
June 12: Pats OTA #9
June 13: Pats OTA #10
June 16: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to accept a qualifying offer
June 16: Deadline for a club to withdraw a qualifying offer to restricted free agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by submitting a June 15 Tender: a one-year deal at 110 percent of the player's prior-year salary (with all other terms of his prior-year contract carried forward unchanged).
June 17: First day that NFL clubs with a returning head coach can hold mandatory minicamp. This cannot exceed three days, and is also known as Phase Four of off-season workout programs.
June 17-19: Patriots full squad mandatory mini-camp.
June 23-29: NFL rookie symposium, Aurora OH
Mon July 7: A 24 hour waiver claiming period goes in to effect from the first business day after July 4, continuing until the Friday prior to the final regular season weekend.
July 8-20: Clubs are allowed 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 veterans.
Veteran players (defined as a player with at least one pension-credited season) other than quarterbacks or “injured players” (as defined in the CBA) 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.
Wed July 9: Patriots send tickets out to season ticket holders.
Thur July 10: NFL Supplemental Draft
Tue July 15: Patriots put single game tickets on sale, 10:00 AM
Tue July 15: Deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign that player to a multi-year contract or extension. After this date, the player can not be signed beyond that team's last regular season game.
Wed July 16: Patriots rookies report to training camp in Foxboro. Teams are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players no earlier than 22 days prior to the club’s first preseason game.
Wed July 23*: End of signing period for Unrestricted Free Agents who received June 1 tender from their prior club; the old club now has exclusive negotiating rights to these players until the Tuesday after the 10th regular-season weekend. * Note: July 23 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later.
Wed July 23*: End of signing period for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, the prior club has exclusive negotiating rights. * Note: July 23 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later.
Wed July 23: Patriots veterans report to training camp (teams can begin training camp 15 days prior to first preseason game); limited media availability, closed to public - camp day #1
Thu July 24: Training camp practice, 9:15-11:30 AM (open to public, camp day #2)
Fri July 25: Training camp practice, 9:15-11:30 AM (open to public, camp day #3)
Sat July 26: Training camp practice, 9:15-11:30 AM (open to public, camp day #4)
Sun July 27: Training camp practice, 9:15-11:30 AM (open to public, camp day #5)
Tue July 29: Training camp practice, 9:45-12:00 (open to public, camp day #6) Attendee prize giveaway: One (1) Signed Tom Brady Football
Wed July 30: Training camp practice, 9:45-12:00 (open to public, camp day #7) Attendee prize giveaway: One (1) Signed Vince Wilfork Football
Thur July 31: Training camp practice, 9:45-12:00 (open to public, camp day #8) Attendee prize giveaway: One (1) Signed Rob Gronkowski Football
Fri Aug 1: Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony for 2014, 4:30 PM; free and open to public
Fri Aug 1: Annual free ticketed in-stadium practice for season ticket holders and residents of Foxboro; 6:30-9:00 PM (camp day #9)
Sat Aug 2: NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Canton OH, 7:00 PM (NFLN); 2014 inductees are Ray Guy, Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Aeneas Williams, Claude Humphrey, Michael Strahan and Andre Reed.
Sun Aug 3: Hall of Fame Game (first preseason game, Bills vs Giants), Canton OH, 8:00 PM (NBC)
Mon Aug 4: Patriots at Washington's training camp for joint practice, 8:30-11:00 (camp day #12)
Tue Aug 5: Patriots at Washington's training camp for joint practice, 1:30-3:45 (camp day #13)
Tue Aug 5: Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an accrued season.
Tue Aug 5: Deadline for teams to trade rights for unsigned drafted rookies. If a drafted rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he cannot be traded to any other club in 2014, and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the draft in the 2015 League Year.
Wed Aug 6: Patriots at Washington's training camp for joint practice, 8:30-10:45 (camp day #14)
Aug 6-11: NFL preseason week one
Thurs Aug 7: New England Patriots at Washington, 7:30 (WBZ, et al)
Sun Aug 10: Training camp practice, 2:30-5:00 (closed to public due to Luke Bryan practice)
Mon Aug 11: Training camp practice, 2:30-5:00 (open to public, camp day #19) Attendee prize raffle: signed 50th anniversary team mini-helmet
Tue Aug 12: Joint practice with Philadelphia Eagles in Foxboro, 2:00-4:30 (open to public) Attendee prize raffle: autographed Chandler Jones mini-helmet
Wed Aug 13: Joint practice with Philadelphia Eagles, 2:00-4:30 (open to public, camp day #21) Attendee prize raffle: Patriots merchandise pack Final practice open to public practice still held but canceled to public due to inclement weather
Aug 13-18: NFL preseason week two
Thu Aug 14: Training camp practice, 9:30-11:00 Joint practice with Eagles; walk-through, no pads (closed to public, camp day #22)
Fri Aug 15: Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots, 7:30 (WBZ, et al)
Mon Aug 18: Training camp practice, 2:00-4:30 (open to public, camp day #26) Final day of public practice; opened to public to make up for Aug 13 cancellation
Aug 20-25: NFL preseason week three
Fri Aug 22: Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots, 7:30 (WBZ, et al)
Tues Aug 26: First roster cut down: clubs must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 75 players on the Active List by 4:00 PM.
Wed Aug 27: All tryouts on this date and for the remainder of the season must be reported to the league.
Thur Aug 28: NFL preseason week four
Thurs Aug 28: New England Patriots at New York Giants, 7:30 (WBZ, et al)
Sat Aug 30: Final roster cut down: clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List by 6:00 PM.
Sat Aug 30: Teams with players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options: - (a) place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; - (b) request waivers; - (c) terminate contract; - (d) trade contract; or - (e) continue to count the player on the Active List, as of 6:00 PM.
Sun Aug 31: Final day of preseason training camp for all clubs.
Sun Aug 31: Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction expires, 12 noon.
Sun Aug 31: Once players have cleared waivers, teams may establish a practice squad of eight players by signing free agents who do not have an accrued season of free agency credit or who were on the 46-player active list for less than nine regular-season games; a player cannot be on a practice squad for more than three seasons; 12 noon.
Tue Sept 2: Teams are now permitted to place one player on reserve/injured as "designated for return", 4:00 PM.
Wed Sept 3: Deadline for all NFL player contracts, practice player contracts, tender offers and miscellaneous amounts to fit within each club's 2014 salary cap in anticipation of the midnight expiration of the Top 51 Rule.
Thur Sept 4: Top 51 Rule expires for all teams at 12:00 AM (midnight Wednesday night/Thursday morning); full salary cap is now enforced.
Sept 4-8: Week 1 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Thur Sept 4: First regular season game of NFL season, Packers at Seahawks; 8:30 PM (NBC)
Sun Sept 7: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins, 1:00 PM (CBS)
Sept 11-15: Week 2 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Sun Sept 14: New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 PM (CBS)
Sept 18-22: Week 3 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Sun Sept 21: Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots, 1:00 PM (CBS)
Tue Sept 23: Waiver change - beginning on the Tuesday following the third weekend of regular season games, the claiming priority is based on the inverse order of the standing of clubs in the current season's games.
Sept 25-29: Week 4 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Mon Sept 29: New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs, 8:30 PM (ESPN)
Oct 2-6: Week 5 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Sun Oct 5: Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots, 8:30 PM (NBC)
Oct 9-13: Week 6 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Sun Oct 12: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, 1:00 PM (CBS)
Tue Oct 14: PUP return - beginning the day after the conclusion of the sixth regular season weekend and continuing through the day after the conclusion of the eleventh regular season weekend, clubs are permitted to begin practicing players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform and Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness for a period not to exceed 21 days. Players may be activated during the 21-day practice period or prior to 4:00 on the day after the conclusion of the 21-day period.
Oct 16-20: Week 7 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Thur Oct 16: New York Jets at New England Patriots, 8:25 PM (CBS, NFLN)
Oct 23-27: Week 8 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Sun Oct 26: Chicago Bears at New England Patriots, 1:00 PM (FOX)
Tue Oct 28: Trade Deadline, 4:00 PM
Oct 30-Nov 3: Week 9 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Sun Nov 2: Denver Broncos at New England Patriots, 4:25 PM (FOX)
Nov 6-10: Week 10; bye week for the Patriots
Nov 13-17: Week 11 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Sun Nov 16: New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts, 8:30 PM (NBC)
Nov 20-24: Week 12 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Sun Nov 23: Detroit Lions at New England Patriots, 1:00 PM (FOX)
Thur Nov 27: Thanksgiving Day games, commemorating the second anniversary of the Butt-Fumble
Nov 27-Dec 1: Week 13 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Sun Nov 30: New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers, 4:25 PM (CBS)
Dec 4-8: Week 14 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Sun Dec 7: New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers, 8:30 PM (NBC)
Dec 11-15: Week 15 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Sun Dec 14: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots, 1:00 PM (CBS)
Dec 18-22: Week 16 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Sun Dec 21: New England Patriots at New York Jets, 1:00 PM (CBS)
Sat Dec 27: Salary cap rollover - clubs must provide the Management Council with written notice, signed by the individual club's owner, indicating the amount, if any, of the club's 2014 league year salary cap room to be credited to the club's 2015 team salary
Sun Dec 28: Week 17 of the 2014 NFL regular season
Sun Dec 28: Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots, 1:00 PM (CBS)
Mon Dec 29: Futures/Reserves Contracts - teams whose seasons have ended can sign free agents to 2015 contracts (i.e., practice squad players)
Mon Dec 29: Fifth Year Option - Earliest permissible date for clubs to renegotiate or extend the rookie contract of a drafted rookie who was selected in any round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Any permissible renegotiated or extended player contract will not be considered a rookie contract, and will not be subject to the rules that limit rookie contracts.
Mon Dec 29: Option exercise period begins for Fifth-Year Option for first-round selections from the 2012 NFL Draft. To exercise the option, the club must give written notice to the player on or after December 29, 2014 but prior to May 3, 2015.
Sat-Sun Jan 3-4, 2015: Wild Card Round of Playoffs
Sat-Sun Jan 10-11, 2015: Division Round of Playoffs
Sun Jan 18, 2015: NFC Championship Game, 3:00 PM (FOX)
Sun Jan 18, 2015: AFC Championship Game, 6:30 PM (CBS)
Sat Jan 24, 2015: Senior Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL
Sun Jan 25, 2015: Pro Bowl, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale AZ, 8:00 PM (ESPN)
Sun Feb 1, 2015: Super Bowl 49, Glendale AZ, 6:30 PM (NBC)