It's now been a little more than a week since the 2019 NFL season ended with the Kansas City Chiefs' 31-20 victory against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium.
It won't be long before things start kicking into high gear toward the 2020 season.
Here are the key dates to remember all the way to the start of the next regular season, along with some Dolphins-related info to go along.
Feb. 11: Beginning at noon, New York time, NFL clubs may begin to sign players whose CFL contracts have expired. Players under contract to a CFL club for the 2020 season or who have an option for the 2020 season are not eligible to be signed. Note: The Dolphins were able to sign former CFL linebacker Sam Eguavoen last offseason before that date (Jan. 7, to be exact) because the Saskatchewan Roughriders had released him from his contract earlier to allow him to pursue NFL opportunities.
Feb. 24 - March 2: NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana. Note: This isn't Dolphins-related, but still worth mentioning that some of the player workouts this year will be conducted at night.
Feb. 25: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players. Note: The Dolphins have seven players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents, though it's unlikely that any of them will be tagged. The seven impending free agents are CB Aqib Talib, C/G Evan Boehm, S Walt Aikens, T J’Marcus Webb, DL John Jenkins, TE Clive Walford and WR Trevor Davis.
March 10: Prior to 4 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 16-18: 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 2019 player contracts at 4 p.m., New York time, on March 18.
March 18: Prior to 4 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2020 on all players who have option clauses in their 2019 contracts. … Prior to 4 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation. … Prior to 4 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2019 contracts who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit. … Top 51 Rule begins. All clubs must be under the 2020 Salary Cap prior to 4 p.m., New York time. … All 2019 player contracts will expire at 4 p.m., New York time. … The 2020 league year and free agency period begin at 4 p.m., New York time. The first day of the 2020 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 18. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 18. … Trading period for 2020 begins at 4 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2019 contracts. Note: This is the big day. The Dolphins have four impending restricted free agents on their roster — LB Deon Lacey, S Adrian Colbert, LB Vince Biegel and P Matt Haack. The Dolphins did not extend qualifying offers to any of their restricted free agents last year, though they ended up re-signing linebacker Mike Hull to a two-year deal.
March 29 - April: Annual League Meeting, Palm Beach, Florida.
April 6: Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2019 regular season may begin offseason workout programs. Note: This rule is how the Dolphins started their offseason program early last year after they had hired Brian Flores as their new head coach.
April 17: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.
April 20: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs. Note: This will be the Dolphins' starting date in 2020.
April 23-25: 2020 NFL Draft, Las Vegas, Nevada. Note: As of Feb. 10, the Dolphins have 12 picks in the 2020 draft, with the expectation that they'll get two additional compensatory picks.
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. Note: As a reminder, the Dolphins signed seven players last year after they had played in the short-lived Alliance of American Football (AAF).
May 1-4: Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
May 5: Deadline for prior club to send "May 5 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 p.m., New York time, only with his prior club.
May 8-11: Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday. Note: As a point of reference, the Dolphins conducted their rookie minicamp on this weekend last year, two weeks after the draft.
May 11: Rookie Football Development Programs begin.
May 14-17: NFLPA Rookie Premiere. Invited rookies (typically, first- and/or second-round selections) must be permitted by their respective clubs to attend. Such players are unavailable for offseason workouts, OTA days, and minicamps during this period.
May 19-20: Spring League Meeting, Marina Del Ray, California.
May 30: Deadline for teams to pick up the fifth-year option on 2017 first-round picks. Note: The Dolphins have two players who fall into that category after picking up former Dallas Cowboys No. 1 pick Taco Charlton last September. The other is the Dolphins' own 2017 first-round pick, defensive end/linebacker Charles Harris.
June 1: 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 15: Deadline for club to withdraw qualifying offer to Restricted Free Agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting "June 15 Tender" of one-year contract at 110 percent of the player's prior-year Paragraph 5 Salary (with all other terms of his prior-year contract carried forward unchanged).
Late June: Rookie Transition Program to be held at individual clubs.
July 15: At 4 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2020 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club's last regular season game.
Mid-July: Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies beginning seven days prior to the club's earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for veteran players. … Veteran players (defined as a player with at least one pension-credited season) other than quarterbacks or "injured players" (as defined in CBA Article 21, Section 6) 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 rejoin the roster after that date may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical. Note: Unless the Dolphins are selected to play in the Hall of Fame Game, the main reporting date for training camp likely would be July 29 or July 30.
July 22: Signing period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents to whom a "May 5 Tender" was made by prior club. After this date and until 4 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights. *The date becomes the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp if it is later. … Signing period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 4 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.
Aug. 6: Hall of Fame Game, Canton, Ohio.
Aug. 6-9: Hall of Fame Weekend, Canton, Ohio.
Aug. 11: Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an accrued season for free agency. … If a drafted rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he cannot be traded to any other club in 2020, and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the Draft in the 2021 league year.
Sept. 5: Prior to 4 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List. … Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53, clubs that have players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options: place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/NonFootball Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; request waivers; terminate contract; trade contract; or continue to count the player on the Active List.
Sept. 6: Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at noon, New York time. … Upon receipt of the Personnel Notice at approximately 1 p.m., New York time, clubs may establish a practice squad of 10 players (clubs participating in the International Player Development Program may sign one additional international player to a Practice Player Contract). No club, including the player's prior club, will be permitted to sign a player to a practice player contract until all clubs have received simultaneous notification via the above Personnel Notice that such player's prior NFL player contract has been terminated via the waiver system. Note: The Dolphins participated in the International Player Development Program last year, which is why they carried 11 practice squad players throughout the 2019 season. The international player was Brazilian lineman Durval Queiroz Neto.
Sept. 10, 13-14: Regular Season Week 1.