The NFL's busy offseason includes free agency, the draft and training camp. Grab a calendar and mark down these key dates that impact the Bears and the rest of the league leading up to the 2020 season:
January 11-12: Divisional Playoff Games.
January 18: East-West Shrine Game, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida.
January 18: NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California.
January 19: AFC and NFC Championship Games.
January 25: Senior Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama.
January 26: NFL Pro Bowl, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida.
February 2: Super Bowl LIV, Hard Rock Stadium, South Florida.
February 3: Waiver system begins for 2020.
February 11: Beginning at 11 a.m. (CT), 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.
February 24-March 2: NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis.
February 25: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 10: Prior to 3 p.m. (CT), deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 16-18: Beginning at 11 a.m. (CT) 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 2019 player contracts. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 3 p.m. (CT), on March 18.
March 18: Prior to 3 p.m. (CT), clubs must exercise options for 2020 on all players who have option clauses in their 2019 contracts.
March 18: Prior to 3 p.m. (CT), clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
March 18: Prior to 3 p.m. (CT), 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.
March 18: Top 51 begins. All clubs must be under the 2020 salary cap prior to 3 p.m. (CT).
March 18: All 2019 player contracts expire at 3 p.m. (CT).
March 18: The 2020 league year and free agency period begin at 3 p.m. (CT).
March 18: The first day of the 2020 league year will end at 10:59:59 p.m. (CT). Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 3 p.m. and 10:59:59 p.m. (CT).
March 18: Trading period for 2020 begins at 3 p.m. (CT) after expiration of all 2019 contracts.
March 29-April 1: Annual League Meeting, The Breakers, Palm Beach, Fla.
April 6: Teams with new head coaches can begin offseason workout programs.
April 15: Deadline for teams to bring draft-eligible players to their facilities for a physical examination.
April 17: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.
April 20: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
April 23-25: 2020 NFL Draft, Las Vegas.
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 1-4 or 8-11: Clubs can hold their three-day rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
May 4: Deadline for clubs to exercise Fifth-Year Option for players selected in the first round of the 2017 draft.
May 5: Deadline for clubs to send "May 5 Tender" to unsigned UFAs.
May 11: Rookie Football Development Programs begin.
May 14-17: NFLPA Rookie Premiere.
May 19-20: Spring League Meeting, Ritz-Carlton, Marina Del Ray, Calif.
June 1: Deadline for prior club to send "June 1 tender" to its unsigned RFAs 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 RFAs 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 3 p.m. (CT), 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 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 rejoin the roster after that date may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical.
Mid-July: Supplemental Draft, if needed.
July 22: Signing period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 3 p.m. (CT), on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.
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 3 p.m. (CT), 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.
August 6: Hall of Fame Game, Canton, Ohio.
August 6-9: Hall of Fame Weekend, Canton, Ohio.
August 11: Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an accrued season for free agency.
August 11: 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.
August 13-17: First Preseason Weekend.
August 15-19: Each club has until five days prior to its second preseason game to provide any tendered but unsigned Exclusive Rights Player or Restricted Free Agent with written notice of the club's intent to place the player on the Exempt List if the player fails to report at least the day before the club's second preseason game.
August 20-24: Second Preseason Weekend.
August 27-30: Third Preseason Weekend.
September 3: Final Preseason Games.
September 5: Prior to 3 p.m. (CT), clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the active/inactive list.
September 6: Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at 11 a.m. (CT).
September 6: Clubs may establish a practice squad of 10 players.
September 10: NFL regular-season begins.