Chicago Bears Release Key Dates of the Off-Season Leading Up to Fall, 2024 Season Opener


Released by the Chicago Bears on Thursday, January 25, 2024, here are the key dates that impact the Chicago Bears and the rest of the NFL leading up to the 2024 season (highlights are the Combine, free agency and the draft):

NFL Wilson football
NFL Wilson football (Image by Ralph from Pixabay)

February 1: East West Shrine Bowl, Frisco, Texas — a postseason college football all-star game that played annually since 1925

February 3: Senior Bowl, Mobile, Alabama — a post-season college football all-star game that showcases the best NFL Draft prospects among players who have completed their college eligibility, that is played annually in Mobile, Alabama.

February 11: Super Bowl LVIII, Las Vegas.

February 20-March 5: NFL clubs may designate Franchise or Transition Players.

February 27-March 4: NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis.

March 7: College Pro Days begin. Workouts of a school’s Pro Day-eligible players with players outside of the scheduled Pro Day activities are prohibited. Private dinners, meetings and interviews are permitted.

March 7-April 19: NFL teams can host up to 30 non-local draft-eligible players at their facilities for visits and physical exams, but on-field workouts are prohibited.

March 7-April 26: NFL clubs can conduct video or telephone interviews with draft-eligible players, with a maximum of three video or telephone interviews per player, no longer than one hour in length.

March 11-13: Beginning at 11 a.m. (CT) on March 11, 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 2023 player contracts. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 3 p.m. (CT) March 13.

March 13: Prior to 3 p.m. (CT), clubs must exercise options for 2024 on all players who have option clauses in their 2023 contracts. Clubs must also submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.

March 13: Prior to 3 p.m. (CT), clubs must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2023 contracts who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.

March 13: Top 51 begins. All clubs must be under the 2024 salary cap prior to 3 p.m. (CT).

March 13: The 2024 league year and free agency period begin at 3 p.m. (CT). All 2023 player contracts expire at this time and the trading period for 2024 begins.

March 13: The first day of the 2024 league year will end at 10:59:59 p.m. (CT). Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 3 p.m. and 10:59:59 p.m. (CT).

March 24-27: Annual League Meeting, Orlando.

April 1: Teams with new head coaches can begin offseason workout programs.

April 15: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

April 17: Deadline for clubs to time, test, visit, interview or conduct a physical examination with a draft-eligible player at its club facility.

April 19: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.

April 25-27: 2024 NFL Draft, Detroit.

May 2: Deadline for NFL teams to exercise Fifth-Year Options for players selected in the first round of the 2021 draft.

May 3-6 or 10-13: Clubs can hold their three-day rookie minicamps from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday on one of the two weekends following the Draft.

May 13: Rookie Football Development Programs begin.

May 20-22: Spring League Meeting/Coach Accelerator, Nashville.


Important dates for 2024 NFL offseason/Associate Writer: Gabby Hajduk



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