Football Ops

Football Ops

Protecting the integrity of the greatest game.

NFL Ops: Honoring the Game

It's our responsibility to strengthen the sport.

League Governance

Ensuring a consistent and fair game that is decided on the field, by the players.

NFL Rules Enforcement

Ensuring that players conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game.

Fines & Appeals

The NFL's schedule of infractions and fines, and a process for appeal.

Economic & Social Impact

Honoring the league’s commitment to serve the communities where the game is played.

The NFL Ops Team

Meet the people behind NFL Operations.

The Game

The Game

Learn about the people, the jobs and the technology that deliver the best game possible to NFL fans across the U.S. and around the world. 

Gameday: Behind the Scenes

Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.

Technology

In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.

Impact of Television

How television has changed the game.

History of Instant Replay

Upon further review…

Creating the NFL Schedule

It takes hundreds of computers and four NFL executives to create the NFL's 256-game masterpiece.

The Players

The Players

Learn how NFL players have changed over time, how they’re developed and drafted and how the league works with them after their playing days are over.  

Evolution of the NFL Player

Creating an NFL player: from “everyman” to “superman.”

Development Pipeline

Supporting the next generation of players and fans.

Getting Into the Game

Preparing players of all ages for success at football’s highest level.

The NFL Draft

Introducing the next wave of NFL superstars. 

NFL Player Engagement

A look at the programs the NFL and its partners provide to help every player before, during and after his football career.

NFL Legends Community

Celebrating, educating, embracing and connecting all former NFL players with each other, their former teams and the league.

The Officials

The Officials

Discover the evolution of professional officiating, the weekly evaluation process and how the NFL identifies and develops the next generation of officials.

In Focus: History of the Official

“One thing hasn’t changed: the pressure. It will always be there.”

Inside NFL GameDay Central

The latest information from the NFL's officiating command center.

These Officials Are Really Good

Every week, officials take the field ready to put months of preparation, training and hard work on display, knowing that the whole world — and the Officiating Department — is watching.

Officiating Development

Officiating an NFL game takes years of training and experience. 

Behind the Stripes: Timeline

Starting the next week’s work when this week’s final whistle blows.

The Rules

The Rules

NFL Football Operations protects the integrity of the game by ensuring that the rules and the officiating are consistent and fair to all competitors.

In Focus: Evolution of the NFL Rules

The custodians of football not only have protected its integrity, but have also revised its playing rules to protect the players, and to make the games fairer and more entertaining.

2016 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

NFL Video Rulebook

NFL SVP of Officiating Dean Blandino explains NFL rules with video examples.

2016 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis

NFL Overtime Rules

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.

Signals Intelligence

The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.   

Stats Central

Stats Central

Go inside the game with the NFL's official game stats.  Sort the stats by season or by week.

Chart The Data

Chart and compare the NFL Football Operations stats you're looking for with the NFL's data tool. 

Weekly Dashboard

Get a snapshot of the current NFL game stats, updated weekly during the regular season.

2017 Important NFL Dates

Here is an overview of important NFL dates for 2017 league year. All times are Eastern and all dates are subject to change.

2017
February 5  Super Bowl LI, NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas.
February 6  Waiver system begins for 2017. 
February 11  NFL Regional Combines, Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Seattle, Washington. 
February 14  Beginning at 12 noon, New York time, NFL clubs may begin to sign players whose 2016 CFL contracts have expired. Players under contract to a CFL club for the 2017 season or who have an option for the 2017 season are not eligible to be signed. 
February 15  First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players. 
February 18  NFL Regional Combines, Methodist Training Center, Houston, Texas. 
February 25-26*  NFL Regional Combines, Inova Sports Performance Center, Washington, D.C. (*Kicker/Punter Combine) 
February 28-March 6  NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana. 
March 1  Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players. 
March 4  NFL Regional Combines, Minnesota Vikings Practice Facility, Eden Prairie, Minnesota. 
March 7-9  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 2016 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9. 
March 9  Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2017 on all players who have option clauses in their 2016 contracts. 
March 9  Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts and to whom they desire to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation. 
March 9  Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2016 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit. 
March 9  Top-51 Begins. All clubs must be under the 2017 salary cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time. 
March 9  All 2016 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time. 
March 9  The 2017 league year and free agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time. 
The first day of the 2017 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9. 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 9. 
March 9  Trading period for 2017 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2016 contracts. 
March 11  NFL Regional Combines, New Orleans Saints Training Facility, Metairie, Louisiana. 
March 26-29  Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona. 
April 3  Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2016 regular season may begin offseason workout programs. 
April 17  Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs. 
April 21  Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets. 
April 27-29  2017 NFL Draft, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
May 5-8  Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
May 9  Deadline for Prior Club to send “May 9 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 4:00 p.m., New York time, only with his Prior Club. 
May 12-15  Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday. 
May 15  Rookie Football Development Programs begin. 
May 18-21  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 22-24  Spring League Meeting, Chicago, Illinois. 
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 2  For any player removed from the club’s roster or whose contract is assigned via waivers or trade on or after June 2, any unamortized signing bonus amounts for future years will be included fully in Team Salary at the start of the 2018 League Year. 
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. Attendance is mandatory for all rookies. 
July 15  At 4:00 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 2017 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 and first-year players 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 join the roster after that date may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical. 
July 22*  Signing Period ends for unrestricted Free Agents to whom a “May 9 Tender” was made by prior club. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights. 
* or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later. 
July 22  Signing Period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.
August 3  Hall of Fame Game, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio 
August 5  Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio. 
Español