The NFL Draft will come and go and the 2019 NFL season will be right around the corner. Teams will get into organized team activities and mini-camps before heading into the summer. Mid-July, of course, means training camps and when camps begin the new season is not far behind. Here’s a look at the key dates of the 2019 NFL season.
Rookie development programs begin. The NFLPA Rookie Premier follows on May 16 through the 19th. First- and second-round draft picks may attend if permitted by their teams. Players that attend the Premier are unavailable for offseason workouts, OTA days, and minicamps during this period.
The league holds its annual spring meeting. This year, the spring meeting will be held in Key Biscayne, Florida.
May 21 – June 6
NFL teams may conduct organized team activities (OTAs) during this time period. A total of 10 voluntary workouts are permitted.
Training camps begin. Rookies and first-year players are allowed to begin seven days prior to the earliest allowed reporting day for veterans. July 15 is also the deadline for any franchise players to sign a multiyear contract or extension.
Hall of Fame weekend. The NFL preseason kicks off with the annual Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. The Denver Broncos will take on the Atlanta Falcons in this year’s game. The Broncos have not played in the preseason kickoff classic since 2004 when they lost to Washington. Atlanta’s last appearance was ten years prior to Denver in 1994. The Falcons beat the Chargers 21-17. This year’s Hall of Fame class includes the likes of Champ Bailey, Tony Gonzalez, and Ty Law.
First week of preseason play. There will be 11 games on Thursday, Aug. 8, two on Friday, and three night games on Saturday, Aug. 10.
Final week of preseason play. All 32 teams will play on Thursday night to end the preseason.
Roster deadline. All 32 teams must submit their final 53-man rosters to the league office by 4 p.m. ET. Teams that have any players on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) or NFI (Non-Football Injury/Illness) lists must place those players on one of those lists permanently, waive them, terminate their contracts, trade the players, or place them on the active roster.
The claiming period for all players waived at the final roster reduction expires at 12:00 noon ET. Shortly thereafter, teams may begin establishing practice squads of 10 players. Any team participating in the International Player Development Program is permitted to sign on additional international player to a practice player contract.
Regular season begins. The 2019 NFL season kicks off on Thursday night with the league’s longest running rivalry. The Green Bay Packers travel to their NFC North rivals, the Chicago Bears. Since 2004, the NFL’s Kickoff Game had been hosted by the defending Super Bowl champ. Game time is set for 8:20 p.m.
NFL Week 1 of the regular season continues with 13 games on Sunday. As is tradition, Week 1 concludes with a pair of games on Monday night. This year, Houston will play at New Orleans with kickoff set for 7:10 p.m. ET. Denver will travel to AFC West rival Oakland to take on the Raiders in the nightcap.
League’s annual fall meeting. League officials and team owners meet to discuss everything from rules changes to the sale of a franchise.
Originally known as the NFL’s International Series, the NFL London Games will take place once again in 2019. The difference this year is that two games will be played in legendary Wembley Stadium and two more at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The first of the London games pits Oakland and Chicago at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
NFL trade deadline. All trades must be finalized and reported to the league office by 4 p.m. ET.
The NFL’s London Games conclude when Jacksonville plays host to Houston at Wembley Stadium. The only team in the league to not play a game in London is Green Bay.
Last year, the NFL’s game scheduled for Mexico was washed out due to field conditions. This year, the Los Angeles Chargers will host AFC West rival Kansas City at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
Once again, three NFL games will be played on Thanksgiving Day, including the traditional afternoon games hosted by Detroit (against the Bears) and Dallas (hosting the Bills). The night game features an NFC South battle between Atlanta and host New Orleans.
WEEK 17, the final week of the 2019 regular season. All teams will play on Sunday. There is no Thursday game and there is no Monday night game.
Wild Card Weekend. Two wild card teams qualify for the playoffs in each
conference. In this first weekend of postseason play, the wild cards face the lowest-seeded division winners in their respective conference.
Divisional Playoffs. The winners from Wild Card Weekend advance to face the two highest-seeded division winners in each conference. Winners of these games advance to the following week’s conference championship games.
AFC & NFC Championship games. The highest seeded team in each conference hosts the championship game.
Super Bowl LIV. This year’s ultimate game will be played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. This will be the 11th Super Bowl hosted by the South Florida region. The last was Super Bowl XLIV ten years ago.
2020 NFL Football Playoffs