It’s always an exciting time in an NFL offseason when teams start to do some actual on-field football activity, so when the Chicago Bears announced their offseason schedule earlier this week it gave us some tangible dates for when their 2020 season will start to come into focus.
But the NFL’s offseason is set up in a way to keep the buzz building year-round, so we’ll list out those league wide important dates as well below.
- February 24 - March 1: NFL Scouting Combine
- February 25: Bears general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy are scheduled to speak with the media from the combine
- March 16: Deadline teams can designate franchise or transition players is 11:59:59 a.m. CT, with the early negotiating window opening for free agency 1 second later.
March 18: The 2020 League year starts at 3:00 PM Central
* NFL Free Agency opens (The real news will start to leak during the 2 day early negotiating window)
* Trading is allowed
* Deadline that teams must tender a qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents to retain a right of first refusal and/or receive compensation
* Deadline that teams must submit a minimum salary tender to their exclusive rights free agents to retain exclusive negotiating rights
- March 29 - April 1: Annual League Meeting
- April 7: The Ed Block Courage Award will be presented
- April 17: Deadline that restricted free agents must sign their offer sheets
- April 21: The Bears will present their Brian Piccolo Awards
- April 21: Ryan Pace is scheduled for a pre-draft press conference
- April 23 - 25: The NFL Draft (The Bears are currently not slated to pick in the first round on 4/23)
- April 27: Beginning this date, NFL clubs may request permission to visit with, try out, or sign any player who was under contract to the XFL at the conclusion of the XFL season.
- May 4: Deadline to pick up the 5th year option on 2017 first round draft picks like Mitchell Trubisky
- May 8 - 10: Bears rookie mini-camp at Halas Hall
- May 16: Bears Care Gala
- May 19 - 20: Spring League Meeting
- May 27 - 29: Organized Team Activities (OTA)
- June 2 - 4: OTA
- June 8 - 11: OTA
- June 16 - 18: Mandatory mini-camp
- August 6: Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio
- August 6 - 9: Hall of Fame Weekend, Canton, Ohio
- September 5: Teams must announce their 53-man regular season roster
- September 6: Teams can sign players to their 10-man practice squad beginning at Noon Central
- September 18: Bears’ legends, Jimbo Covert and Ed Sprinkle will be among 10 senior-era Hall of Famers enshrined at the NFL’s Centennial Celebration
The regular season will kick off on Thursday, September 10, and the NFL will announce their full 2020 schedule sometime in April.