From the Branch


Important 2016 Offseason Dates for Falcons

Posted Feb 7, 2016

The 2016 offseason is underway, and while the 2015 season is still fresh in our minds, it's time to look ahead to some of the important dates coming up for the Falcons.

Feb. 7
Super Bowl 50, Levi’s Stadium, San Francisco Bay Area, CA. - 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Feb. 8
Waiver system begins for 2016

Feb. 16
The first day clubs may designate Franchise or Transition players

Feb. 23-29
NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis - NFL Network

March 1
On this day, 4 p.m. ET will mark the deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition players

March 7-9
At noon ET, 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 2015 player contracts at 4 p.m. ET on March 9. Contracts cannot be executed with a new club until 4 p.m. ET on March 9. This was a recent change added to the NFL year and, last year, it helped spark some contract deals right at the start of free agency. Atlanta was very busy during free agency last season, adding LB Justin Durant, OLB Brooks Reed, OLB O'Brien Schofield and C Mike Person.

March 9

  • Prior to 4 p.m. ET, clubs must exercise options for 2016 on all players who have option clauses in their 2015 contracts.
  • Prior to 4 p.m. ET, clubs must be under the salary cap.
  • At 4 p.m. ET, free agency starts. As mentioned, deals can now get done pretty quickly once free agency begins because of the negotiation period in the days leading up to the start of the new league year.

March 20-23
Owners and officials will congregate in Boca Raton, FL., for the annual three-day set of meetings during which a wide range of league topics will be discussed, including the potential for rule changes.

April 18
Teams with returning head coaches can begin their offseason workouts.

April 22
This is the deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.

April 28-30
The NFL Draft will be held in Chicago for the second straight year — the second time the Draft has been held outside of New York City since 1964. The Falcons hold the No. 17 overall selection.

May 6-9
This is the first weekend teams can choose to hold their three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp.

May 13-16
This is the second weekend teams can choose to hold their three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp.

May 23-25
The league will hold its NFL Spring Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Mid-to-late June
Teams will hold their mandatory three-day veteran minicamps.

June 19-25
The NFL's Rookie Symposium begins, typically held for first- and/or second-round selections. The Falcons in the past have sent their entire drafted Rookie Club to the symposium. During this time, rookies will be unavailable to participate in offseason workouts, OTA days and minicamps.

Late July
Clubs are permitted 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 veteran players. Dates, times and sessions open to the public will be available during the summer on

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