Dolphins and NFL 2021-22 Key Dates – DolphinMaven

Football is back, so it’s a good time to present the important dates for the Miami Dolphins and the NFL for the 2021 season and the next offseason.

July

Wednesday, July 28 — Dolphins conduct first practice of training camp (closed to fans)

Saturday, July 31 — Back Together Saturday Fueled by Gatorade, practice open to fans, 3:30 p.m.

August

Monday, Aug. 2 — Dolphins practice open to fans, 10:10 am.

Tuesday, Aug. 3 — Dolphins practice open to fans, 10:10 am. (expected to be first practice in pads)

Wednesday, Aug. 4 — Dolphins practice open to fans, 10:10 am.

Thursday, Aug. 5 — Hall of Fame Game, Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Canton, Ohio

Friday, Aug. 6 — Dolphins practice open to fans, 10:10 am.

Saturday, Aug. 7 — Dolphins practice open to fans, 10:10 am.

Wednesday, Aug. 11 — Dolphins practice with Chicago Bears at Lake Forest, Ill.

Thursday, Aug. 12 — Dolphins practice with Chicago Bears at Lake Forest, Ill.

Aug. 12-16 — First Preseason Weekend.

Saturday, Aug. 14 — Preseason game, Dolphins at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. ET (NFLN)

Tuesday, Aug. 17 — Dolphins practice open to fans, 10:10 am. … Prior to 4 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 85 players on the Active/Inactive List

Wednesday, Aug. 18 — Dolphins practice with Atlanta Falcons, 10:10 am.

Thursday, Aug. 19 — Dolphins practice with Atlanta Falcons, 10:10 am.

Aug. 19-23 — Second Preseason Weekend.

Saturday, Aug. 21 — Preseason game, Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons, Hard Rock Stadium, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 24 — Dolphins practice open to fans, 10:10 am. … Prior to 4 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 80 players on the Active/Inactive List.

Wednesday, Aug. 25 — Dolphins practice open to fans, 10:10 am.

Thursday, Aug. 26 — Dolphins practice open to fans, 10:10 am.

Friday, Aug. 27 — Dolphins practice open to fans, 10:10 am.

Aug. 26-29 — Third Preseason Weekend

Sunday, Aug. 29 — Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals, Paul Brown Stadium, 4 p.m. ET (CBS)

Aug. 31 — 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 roster reduction to 53 players, 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/Non-Football Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; terminate or request waivers with the designation of Failed Physical or Non-Football Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; request waivers; terminate contract; trade contract; or continue to count the player on the Active List.

September

Wednesday, Sept. 1 — Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at 4 p.m., New York time.

Upon receipt of the Personnel Notice, clubs may establish a Practice Squad, subject to the applicable limits negotiated for the 2021 season (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.

Beginning at 4 p.m., New York time, any player placed on Reserve/Injured or Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness during the regular season or postseason, may be designated for return later in the season, subject to the applicable procedures negotiated for the 2021 season.

Sunday, Sept. 5 — Final day of preseason training camp for all clubs, as defined in CBA Article 23, Section 10.

Sept. 6-11 — In accordance with the Personnel (Injury) Report Policy, each club is required to file a Practice Report with the NFL Communications department by 4 p.m., New York time, (or as soon as possible after the completion of practice) every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for a regular season Sunday game; Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for a Thursday game; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for a Monday game; and Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for a Saturday game.

Each club must also file a weekly regular season Game Status Report with the NFL Communications department by 4 p.m., New York time (or as soon as possible after the completion of practice) on Wednesday for a Thursday game, Friday for a Sunday game, Saturday for a Monday game, and Thursday for a Saturday game. An update must be reported if there is any change in a player’s condition after the initial Game Status Report is filed. Regular Season Week 1.

Sept. 9, 12-13 — Regular Season Week 1.

Sunday, Sept. 12 — Dolphins at New England, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Sept. 19 — Buffalo at Dolphins, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Sept. 26 — Dolphins at Las Vegas, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Tuesday, Sept. 28 — Beginning on the Tuesday following the third weekend of regular season games, the claiming priority is based on the inverse order of the standing of clubs in the current season’s games.

October

Sunday, Oct. 4 — Indianapolis at Dolphins, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Oct. 10 — NFL London Series, New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium … Dolphins at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Oct. 12-13 — Fall League Meeting, TBD.

Sunday, Oct. 17 — NFL London Series, Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, 9:30 a.m. (CBS)

Mid-October — Beginning on the sixth calendar day prior to a club’s seventh regular season game (including any bye week) clubs are permitted to begin practicing players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform and Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness (if the player failed his preseason physical due to a non-football injury or illness) for a period not to exceed 21 days. Players may be activated during the 21-day practice period, or prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the day after the conclusion of the 21-day period, provided that no player may be activated to participate in a Week Six game.

Sunday, Oct. 24 — Atlanta at Dolphins, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Sunday, Oct. 31 — Dolphins at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (CBS)

November

Tuesday, Nov. 2 — All trading ends for 2021 at 4 p.m., New York time.

Wednesday, Nov. 3 — Players with at least four previous pension-credited seasons are subject to the waiver system for the remainder of the regular season and postseason.

Sunday, Nov. 7 — Houston at Dolphins, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Thursday, Nov. 11 — Baltimore at Dolphins, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN/Amazon)

Tuesday, Nov. 16 — At 4 p.m., New York time, signing period ends for Franchise Players who are eligible to receive offer sheets.

Prior to 4 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their unsigned Franchise and Transition Players, including Franchise Players who were eligible to receive offer sheets until this date. If still unsigned after this date, such players are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2021.

Prior to 4 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their unrestricted free agents to whom the “UFA Tender” was made. If still unsigned after this date, such players are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2021.

Prior to 4 p.m., New York time, deadline for Clubs to sign their restricted free agents, including those to whom the “June 1 Tender” was made. If such players remain unsigned after this date, they are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2021.

Prior to 4 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their drafted rookies. If such players remain unsigned after this date, they are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2021.

Sunday, Nov. 21 — Dolphins at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Nov. 28 — Carolina at Dolphins, 1 p.m. (FOX)

December

Sunday, Dec. 5 — N.Y. Giants at Dolphins, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Sunday, Dec. 12 — Dolphins bye

Saturday, Dec. 18 or Sunday, Dec. 19 — N.Y. Jets at Dolphins, TBD

Monday, Dec. 27 — Dolphins at New Orleans, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

2022

January

Sunday, Jan. 2 — Dolphins at Tennessee, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sunday, Jan. 9 — New England at Dolphins, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Monday, Jan. 10 — Earliest permissible date for clubs to renegotiate or extend the rookie contract of a drafted rookie who was selected in any round of the 2019 College Draft or any undrafted rookie who signed in 2020. Any permissible renegotiated or extended player contract will not be considered a rookie contract, and will not be subject to the rules that limit rookie contracts.

Option exercise period begins for fifth-year option for first-round selections from the 2019 College Draft. To exercise the option, the club must give written notice to the player on or after January 10, 2022, but prior to May 3, 2022 (i.e., not later than May 2).

Jan. 15-16 — Wild Card Playoff Games.

Monday, Jan. 17 —  Deadline for college players who are underclassmen to apply for Special Eligibility. A list of underclassmen who have been approved for entry into the 2022 College Draft will be sent to clubs on January 21.

Saturday, Jan. 22 — NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California.

Jan. 22-23 — Divisional Playoff Games.

Friday, Jan. 28 — HBCU Combine, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama.

Sunday, Jan. 30 — AFC and NFC Championship Games.

February

Thursday, Feb. 3 — East-West Shrine Bowl, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada

Saturday, Feb. 5 — Senior Bowl, Hancock Whitney Stadium, Mobile, Alabama

Sunday, Feb. 6 — NFL Pro Bowl, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada

Sunday, Feb. 13 — Super Bowl LVI, SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California.

Saturday, Feb. 19 — HBCU Legacy Bowl, Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana

March

Mar. 1-7 — NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

Tuesday, March 8 — Prior to 4 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

March 14-16 — During the period beginning at 12:00 noon, New York time, on March 14 and ending at 3:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 16, 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 2021 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 16.

During the above two-day negotiating period, a prospective UFA who is not represented by an NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor is permitted to communicate directly with a new club’s front office officials (excluding the head coach and other members of the club’s coaching staff) regarding contract negotiations.

No prospective unrestricted free agent is permitted to execute a contract with a new club until 4 p.m., New York time, on March 16.

Wednesday, March 16 — The 2022 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4 p.m., New York time.

The first day of the 2022 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 16. Clubs will receive a Personnel Notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 16.

Wednesday, March 16 — Trading period for 2022 begins at 4 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2021 contracts.

March 27-30 — Annual League Meeting, The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida.

April

Monday, April 4 — Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2021 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.

Monday, April 18 — Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs

Wednesday, April 20 — Deadline to bring draft-eligible players to their facilities for a physical examination.

Friday, April 22 — Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.

Wednesday, April 27 — Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to restricted free agents. … Deadline to time, test, and interview draft-eligible players.

April 28-30 — NFL Draft, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Alain Poupart has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989. You can follow him on Twitter at @PoupartNFL. Feel free to submit questions every Friday for the All Dolphins mailbag.