The 2019 NFL season will be the 100th season of the National Football League (NFL). The season will tentatively begin on September 5, 2019. The season will conclude with Super Bowl LIV, the league’s championship game, tentatively scheduled for February 2, 2020, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Player movement

The 2019 NFL League year and trading period began on March 13. On March 8, teams were allowed to exercise options for 2019 on players who have option clauses in their contracts submit qualifying offers to their pending restricted free agents and submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2018 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agent credit. Teams were required to be under the salary cap using the “Top 51” definition (in which the 51 highest paid-players on the team’s payroll must have a combined salary cap.) On March 11 clubs were allowed to contact and begin contract negotiations with the agents of players who were set to become unrestricted free agents.

Free agency

Free agency began on March 13. Notable players to change teams include:

  • Quarterbacks Blake Bortles (Jacksonville to Los Angeles Rams), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Tampa Bay to Miami), and Nick Foles (Philadelphia to Jacksonville).
  • Running backs Le’Veon Bell (Pittsburgh to New York Jets), Tevin Coleman (Atlanta to San Francisco), Frank Gore (Miami to Buffalo), Kareem Hunt (Kansas City to Cleveland), and Mark Ingram Jr. (New Orleans to Baltimore).
  • Wide receivers Danny Amendola (Miami to Detroit), Cole Beasley (Dallas to Buffalo), John Brown (Baltimore to Buffalo), Randall Cobb (Green Bay to Dallas), Cordarrelle Patterson (New England to Chicago), and Golden Tate (Philadelphia to New York Giants).
  • Offensive linemen Jamon Brown (New York Giants to Atlanta), Trent Brown (New England to Oakland), Ja’Wuan James (Miami to Denver), Mitch Morse (Kansas City to Buffalo), and Rodger Saffold (Los Angeles Rams to Tennessee).
  • Defensive linemen Trey Flowers (New England to Detroit), Malik Jackson (Jacksonville to Philadelphia), Sheldon Richardson (Minnesota to Cleveland), and Cameron Wake (Miami to Tennessee).
  • Linebackers Kwon Alexander (Tampa Bay to San Francisco), Vontaze Burfict (Cincinnati to Oakland), Thomas Davis (Carolina to Los Angeles Chargers), Jordan Hicks (Philadelphia to Arizona), Justin Houston (Kansas City to Indianapolis), Clay Matthews (Green Bay to Los Angeles Rams), CJ Mosley (Baltimore to New York Jets), Preston Smith (Washington to Green Bay), Za’Darius Smith (Baltimore to Green Bay), and Terrell Suggs (Baltimore to Arizona).
  • Defensive backs Adrian Amos (Chicago to Green Bay), Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Washington to Chicago), Landon Collins (New York Giants to Washington), Lamarcus Joyner (Los Angeles Rams to Oakland), Tyrann Mathieu (Houston to Kansas City), Earl Thomas (Seattle to Baltimore), and Eric Weddle (Baltimore to Los Angeles Rams).
  • Kicker Jason Myers (New York Jets to Seattle).

Trades

  • March 13: Baltimore traded QB Joe Flacco to Denver for their 2019 fourth round selection (113th overall).
  • March 13: Denver traded QB Case Keenum and a 2020 seventh round selection to Washington for their 2020 sixth round selection.
  • March 13: The New York Giants traded WR Odell Beckham Jr. and DE Olivier Vernon to Cleveland for G Kevin Zeitler, SS Jabrill Peppers, their 2019 first round selection (17th overall), and their 2019 third round selection (95th overall)
  • March 13: Pittsburgh traded OT Marcus Gilbert to Arizona for their 2019 sixth round selection (174th overall).
  • March 13: Philadelphia traded DE Michael Bennett and a 2020 seventh round selection to New England for their 2020 fifth round selection.
  • March 13: Pittsburgh traded WR Antonio Brown to Oakland for their 2019 third round selection (66th overall) and their 2019 fifth round selection (141st overall).
  • March 13: Oakland traded G Kelechi Osemele and their 2019 sixth round selection (175th overall) to the New York Jets for their 2019 fifth round selection (140th overall).
  • March 13: Tampa Bay traded WR DeSean Jackson and their 2020 seventh round selection to Philadelphia for their 2019 sixth round selection (197th overall).
  • March 13: Kansas City traded OLB Dee Ford to San Francisco for their 2020 second round selection.
  • March 15: Miami traded QB Ryan Tannehill and their 2019 sixth round selection (188th overall) to Tennessee for their 2019 seventh round selection (233rd overall)and their 2020 fourth round selection.

Notable retirements

  • Tight end Rob Gronkowski – Five-time Pro Bowl selection, three-time Super Bowl champion. Played for the New England Patriots for his entire nine-year career.
  • Center Ryan Kalil – Five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All Pro. Played for the Panthers for his entire twelve-year career.
  • Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata – Five-time Pro Bowl selection, five-time All-Pro (two first-team, three second-team). Played nine years of his 13-year career with the Baltimore Ravens, with shorter stints with the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Linebacker Brian Orakpo – Four-time Pro Bowl selection. Played for the Redskins and Titans over a ten-year career.
  • Defensive end Julius Peppers – A nine-time Pro Bowl selection and six-time All-Pro. Played for the Panthers, Bears and Packers during his 17-year career.
  • Center Max Unger – A three-time Pro Bowl selection, one-time All-Pro and Super Bowl XLVIII champion. Played ten seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints.
  • Defensive tackle Kyle Williams – A six-time Pro Bowl and two-time All-Pro. Played for the Buffalo Bills for his entire thirteen-year career.
  • Jeremy Maclin

Draft

The 2019 NFL Draft will be held from April 25–27 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Officiating changes

Offseason

  • Walt Coleman III: With 30 seasons as an NFL official, Coleman was the longest-tenured official in the NFL before retiring after the previous season’s Pro Bowl.
  • Pete Morelli: Morelli had spent 22 seasons as an NFL official before retiring after the previous season’s Pro Bowl
  • Larry Nemmers: Nemmers was an on-field official from 1985 to 2007 (referee from 1991 – 2007) before he moved to the replay official position. Nemmers was a replay official from 2008 until his announced retirement in 2018.Nemmers was a side judge in Super Bowl XXV, an alternate referee for Super Bowl XXXV, and the replay official for Super Bowl XLVI.

Combined with the 2018 offseason retirements of Ed Hochuli, Terry McAulay, Gene Steratore, and Jeff Triplette, the league has been forced to replace six of its 17 referee positions within a two-year period.

Rule changes

The following rule changes have been proposed for the NFL owners’ meeting in March 2019:

  • Allow both teams to possess the ball at least once in overtime, even if the first team to possess scores a touchdown; eliminate overtime from preseason games; and eliminate the overtime coin toss and allow the original coin toss winner the choice of kick, receive, or which goal to defend.
  • In lieu of an onside kick, a team would be able to run a fourth down and 15 yards play from the 35 yard line. If the first down is made (either by run, pass, or defensive penalty), the offense keeps the ball at the succeeding spot. If not, they lose possession at the succeeding spot. The “onside conversion” will only be permitted to be used once per game, and only in the fourth quarter. This is similar to a rule used by the Alliance of American Football.
  • Various proposed expansions of instant replay review:
    • The Washington Redskins’ proposal, the most expansive, would open all plays to instant replay.
    • The Kansas City Chiefs propose making all personal fouls subject to instant replay, called or not; the Redskins have a similar proposal.
    • A joint proposal by the Los Angeles Rams, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks would make certain “player safety related fouls” subject to coach’s challenges.
    • The Eagles propose making any scoring play negated by a foul subject to review.
    • The Denver Broncos propose making any unsuccessful fourth-down conversion, as well as any extra point or two-point conversion attempt, subject to automatic review.

2019 deaths

  • Red Cashion
  • Mike Cofer
  • Willie Ellison
  • Rick Forzano
  • Cedrick Hardman
  • Bob Kuechenberg
  • Kwamie Lassiter
  • John Michels
  • Eric Moss
  • Turk Schonert
  • Wade Wilson

Preseason

Training camps for the 2019 season will be held in late July through August. Teams will start training camp no earlier than 15 days before the team’s first scheduled preseason game.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, is scheduled for August 1, 2019, and will be televised nationally by NBC. The game will be held at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, the same city where the league was founded 99 years prior. The game will feature the Denver Broncos (whose owner Pat Bowlen and former cornerback Champ Bailey are being inducted) against the Atlanta Falcons (Tony Gonzalez played the last five years of his career with the Falcons).

On August 17, the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Rams will play a preseason game at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, the former home of the Pro Bow