RSO 2019 Off-Season Schedule

Updated: January 20th 2019

Welcome to the RSO off-season, where things can get even more interesting and exciting than during the season. Congrats to all of our 2018 league champions! Remember, it is never too early to start strategizing for 2019, and to help you better prepare for the upcoming season, please find some important dates and off-season rules/info below:

February 8th, 2019

February 8th, 2019 is the estimated official start of the 2018-19 RSO off-season. Last season, the NFL announced the 2018 salary cap in early March, and we expect them to do so again this year around the same time. The 2019 NFL salary cap is expected to rise to as much as $191 million. Since we will open the site before the NFL announces the 2019 salary cap, we will leave the cap at the 2018 level until the NFL announces the new salary cap for 2019. However, existing leagues will be able to commence the RSO off-season, meaning teams can make off-season trades and cuts. Additionally, new league creation will be available at this time.

April 25th, 2019 to April 27th, 2019 

These are the dates of the actual NFL Draft. Once the NFL Draft is completed, leagues will be able to conduct their RSO Rookie Drafts and Free Agent Auctions. The NFL Draft is set to end on Saturday, April 27th, 2019, and we expect to have all rookie information updated on the site by Monday, April 29th, 2019.

February 8th, 2019 to Three (3) Days Before Your League’s 2019 RSO Rookie Draft 

Different for every league depending on the date set for your 2019 RSO Rookie Draft, this is the “franchise tag designation period”. During this period, team owners must decide whether to place a franchise tag on a player whose contract expired in 2018 (the tagged salary for each player can be found by clicking the “Tag” button on the Team-Contracts tab). At the end of this period, players on expiring contracts will be removed from your Team Roster (unless you franchise tag a player). Additionally, at the conclusion of this period, team owners must have enough salary cap space to fill their respective rosters through the Rookie Draft and Free Agency in order to avoid having players automatically dropped from their rosters to create cap space. A Salary Cap Health Overview feature located on the Team-Overview tab contains all the information team owners need to ensure they have enough salary cap space. Note: no trades will be allowed during the three-day period between the end of the franchise tag designation period and your 2019 Rookie Draft. Trading will resume after the conclusion of your Rookie Draft. Remember, you can now finalize your franchise tag if you desire before the conclusion of the franchise tag designation period by clicking the “finalize franchise tag” button, which will in turn allow you to trade the tagged player if you want before your league’s 2019 Rookie Draft.

Additionally, this is also the period during which you can exercise your 1st round rookie options if applicable. Just like in the NFL, in the off-season of the year before a player on a first round rookie contract expires, teams can have the choice to exercise their rookie option. The value of this option is the average of the top 10 salaries at the position and extends the rookie’s contract for an additional year. You must choose if you want to use this option before three (3) days before your 2019 Rookie Draft OR before you finalize your off-season rosters moves/your franchise tag if you choose to do that instead. For more info, check out this article.

February 8th, 2019 to Three (3) Days Before Your League’s 2019 RSO Free Agent Auction

This period is the official duration of the RSO off-season for each league. The length of the off-season is important because of the rules surrounding off-season vs. in-season cuts. This is best explained by example. Assume you have Kirk Cousins under contract for $15mm in 2019 and $18mm in 2020. If you cut Cousins during the 2018-19 off-season (i.e. up and until 3 days before your Free Agent Auction), you will only owe him $7.5mm in 2019 and then $9mm in 2020. If you wait until the off-season concludes before cutting Cousins, you will owe him his full $15mm in 2019 in addition to the $9mm in 2020. Therefore, it is important to assess your roster and make desired cuts before your off-season concludes three days before your league’s 2019 Free Agent Auction. Additionally, if choose to apply your contract extension to a player you applied the franchise tag to, you must do it before this deadline. For more information on the tag extensions check out this article.

September 5th, 2019

The first game of the NFL’s 100th season will be held in the home of the Super Bowl Champion. It will be here before you know it!

More Analysis by Stephen Wendell