Significant Dates in Pro Football History

 

Date Description
1920-09-17

George Halas, representing the Decatur Staleys, met with representatives of the Akron Professionals, Canton Bulldogs, Racine Cardinals, Cleveland Tigers, Dayton Triangles, Hammond Pros, Muncie Flyers, Rochester (N.Y.) Jeffersons, Rock Island Independents, at Ralph Hay's Hupmobile showroom in Canton, Ohio, forming the American Professional Football Association (APFA). Later, the Buffalo All-Americans, Chicago Tigers, Columbus Panhandles, and Detroit Heralds joined the league prior to the 1920 season. Membership was set at $100.

1921 Chicago Tigers folded between 1920 and 1921 season
1921 Decatur Staleys moved to Chicago
1921 Cincinnati Celts , Evansville Crimson Giants, Green Bay Packers, Louisville Brecks, Minneapolis Marines, New York Brickleys Giants , Tonawanda Kardex (a.k.a. Lumbermen), and Washington Senators joined the APFA
1921-08-27 Green Bay granted APFA franchise (Packers)
1922-06-24 APFA changed its name to the National Football League (NFL)
1922-06-24 Decatur Staleys moved to Chicago and renamed Bears
1922 Racine Cardinals moved to Chicago
1922 Cincinnati Celts, Cleveland Tigers, Detroit Heralds, Muncie Flyers, New York Brickleys Giants, Tonawanda Kardex, and Washington Senators folded after 1921 season
1922 Marion Oorang Indians, Milwaukee Badgers, Racine Legion, and Toledo Maroons joined NFL prior to 1922 season
1922 Racine Cardinals moved to Chicago
1922-01-28 Chicago Staleys changed their name to Bears
1923 Columbus Panhandles and Evansville Crimson Giants folded after 1922 season
1923 Cleveland Indians, Columbus Tigers, Duluth Kelleys, and St. Louis All-Stars joined NFL prior to 1923 season
1924 Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, Louisville Brecks, Marion Oorang Indians, Racine Legion, St. Louis All-Stars, and Toledo Maroons folded
1924 Buffalo All-Americans changed their name to Bisons
1924 Cleveland Bulldogs, Frankford Yellow Jackets, Kansas City Blues, and Kenosha Maroons joined NFL prior to 1924 season
1925 Kenosha Maroons, Minneapolis Marines, and Columbus Tigers folded after 1924 season
1925 Kansas City Blues changed their name to Cowboys
1925 Canton Bulldogs re-entered NFL after an inactive 1924 season
1925 Racine Legion was inactive for 1925 season
1925 Detroit Panthers, New York Giants, Providence Steam Roller, and Pottsville Maroons joined NFL prior to 1925 season
1926 Cleveland Bulldogs and Rochester Jeffersons folded afer 1925 season
1926 Rock Island Independents left NFL
1926 Buffalo Bisons changed their name to Rangers prior to 1926 season
1926 Brooklyn Lions, Hartford Blues, Los Angeles Buccaneers joined NFL prior to 1926 season
1926 Akron Pros changed their name to Indians prior to 1926 season
1926 Racine Tornadoes (formerly Racine Legion) re-entered the NFL prior to 1926 season
1926 Duluth Kelleys became the Duluth Eskimos priot to 1926 season
1926 Louisville Colonels (formerly the Louisville Brecks) re-entered the NFL as a road team out of Chicago
1927 Akron Indians, Brooklyn Lions, Buffalo Rangers, Canton Bulldogs, Columbus Tigers, Detroit Panthers, Hammond Pros, Hartford Blues, Kansas City Cowboys, Los Angeles Buccaneers, Louisville Colonels, Milwaukee Badgers, and Racine Tornadoes folded after 1926 season
1927 Cleveland Bulldogs and New York Yankees joined NFL prior to 1927 season
1928 Buffalo Bison, Cleveland Bulldogs, and Duluth Eskimos folded after 1927 season
1928 Detroit Wolverines joined NFL prior to 1928 season
1929 New York Yankees folded after 1928 season
1929 Boston Bulldogs (were in reality the Pottsville Maroons relocated, inactive for the 1928 season), Buffalo Bisons, Minneapolis Red Jackets, Orange Tornadoes, and Staten Island Stapletons joined NFL prior to 1929 season
1930 Boston Bulldogs, Buffalo Bisons, and Dayton Triangles folded after 1929 season
1930 Brooklyn Dodgers and Portsmouth Spartans joined NFL prior to 1930 season
1930 Orange Tornadoes change their name to Newark Tornadoes prior to 1930 season
1931 Minneapolis Red Jackets and Newark Tornadoes folded after 1930 season
1931 Cleveland Indians joined NFL prior to 1931 season
1932 Cleveland Indians and Providence Steam Roller folded after 1931 season
1932-07-09 Boston Braves joined NFL
1932 Frankford Yellow Jackets folded during 1932 season
1933 Staten Island Stapletons folded after 1932 season
1933 Boston Braves renamed Redskins
1933-07-08 Pittsburgh Pirates (Steelers) entered the NFL
1933-07-09 Philadelphia Eagles joined NFL
1933 Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates joined NFL prior to 1933 season
1934-06-30 Portsmouth Spartans moved to Detroit and renamed Lions
1934 Cincinnati Reds moved to St. Louis and renamed Gunners prior to 1934 season
1935 St. Louis Gunners folded after 1934 season
1935-05-19 NFL league owners approved a plan for a draft of college players following the 1936 season. Under the plan, proposed by Philadelphia Eagles' owner & GM Bert Bell (who later became NFL commissioner), teams drafted in reverse order of their finish
1936-02-08 1936 NFL draft
1936-12-12 1937 NFL draft
1937-12-12 1938 NFL draft
1937-02-13 Cleveland Rams entered the NFL as an expansion franchise
1937-02-13 Boston Redskins received approval to move to Washington
1938-12-09 1939 NFL draft
1939-12-09 1940 NFL draft
1940 Pittsburgh Pirates renamed Steelers
1940-12-10 1941 NFL draft
1941-12-22 1942 NFL draft
1943-04-06 Cleveland Rams suspended operation
1943-04-08 1943 NFL draft
1943 Eagles and Steelers merged due to war-time measures
1944 Cardinals and Steelers merged due to war-time measures (team was called Card-Pitt)
1944 Brooklyn Dodgers renamed Tigers
1944 Boston Yanks are granted an NFL franchise
1944-04-19 Cleveland Rams resumed operation
1944-04-19 1944 NFL draft
1944-06-04 All-America Football Conference (AAFC) formed
1945-04-06 1945 NFL draft
1945-04-10 Boston Yanks merged with Brooklyn Tigers
1946-01-11 Cleveland Rams received approval to move to Los Angeles
1946 Brooklyn Tigers folded.
1946-01-14 1946 NFL draft
1946-12-16 1947 NFL draft
1946-12-20 — 1946-12-21 1947 AAFC draft
1946-12-28 Miami Seahawks (AAFC) moved to Baltimore and renamed the Colts
1947-12-19 1948 NFL draft
1947-12-16 1948 AAFC draft
1948-07-08 1949 AAFC draft (secret)
1948-12-21 1949 NFL draft
1948-12-21 1949 AAFC draft
1949-01-21 NFL cancelled Boston franchise and awards franchise to Ted Collins as the New York Bulldogs
1949-11-07 1950 NFL draft - rounds 1-3 (per AP)
1949-12-09 AAFC/NFL merger approved — Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns, and San Francisco 49ers entered the NFL. The Buffalo Bills, Brooklyn-New York Yankees, Chicago Hornets, and Los Angeles Dons of the AAFC all folded.
1949-12-09 1950 NFL draft (per Colts web site)
1950-01-20 — 1950-01-22 1950 NFL draft
1950 New York Bulldogs renamed Yanks
1950-06-02 NFL dispersal draft of AAFC players
1951-01-18 Baltimore Colts folded
1951-01-18 — 1951-01-19 1951 NFL draft
1952-01-17 1952 NFL draft
1952-01-19 League purchases assets of New York Yanks and awards franchise to Dallas Texans
1953-01-22 1953 NFL draft
1953-01-23 Dallas Texans moved to Baltimore and renamed the Colts
1954-01-28 1954 NFL draft
1955-01-27 — 1955-01-28 1955 NFL draft
1955-11-28, 1956-01-19 1956 NFL draft (rounds 1-3 on day 1, rounds 4-30 on day 2)
1956-11-27, 1957-01-31 1957 NFL draft (rounds 1-4 on day 1, rounds 5-30 on day 2)
1957-12-02, 1958-01-28 1958 NFL draft (rounds 1-4 on day 1, rounds 5-30 on day 2)
1958-12-01, 1959-01-21 1959 NFL draft (rounds 1-4 on day 1, rounds 5-30 on day 2)
1959-08-14 Charter franchises in AFL granted to Dallas (Texans), New York (Titans), Houston (Oilers), Denver (Broncos), Los Angeles (Chargers), and Minneapolis
1959-08-22 AFL officially christened as such
1959-10-28 AFL granted franchise to Buffalo (Bills)
1959-10-31 AFL Houston franchise named Oilers
1959-11-22 AFL granted franchise to Boston (Patriots)
1959-11-22 Buffalo Bills entered AFL
1959-11-22 1960 AFL draft (Rounds 1-33)
1959-11-30 1960 NFL draft
1959-11-30 AFL Buffalo franchise named Bills
1959-12-02 1960 AFL draft (Rounds 34-54)
1960-01-27 Minneapolis franchise withdrew from AFL
1960-01-27 Boston Patriots entered AFL
1960-01-28 NFL expansion franchise awarded to Dallas (Cowboys), Minnesota (Vikings)
1960-01-30 AFL franchise granted to Oakland (Raiders)
1960-02-09 AFL and NFL announced a verbal no-tampering pact in regard to player contracts
1960-03-13 Chicago Cardinals moved to St. Louis
1960-03-13 NFL expansion draft (Dallas Cowboys)
1960-12-27 — 1960-12-28 1961 NFL draft
1961-02-10 Los Angeles Chargers (AFL) moved to San Diego
1961 Atlanta and Chicago grated AFL expension franchises.
1961-12-04 1962 NFL draft
1962-08-15 AFL equalization draft
1962-12-04 1963 NFL draft
1963-02-08 Dallas Texans (AFL) announced move to Kansas City
1963-04-15 New York Titans (AFL) renamed Jets.
1963-05-22 Dallas Texans (AFL) announce move to Kansas City (per Chiefs web site).
1963-05-26 Kansas City Texans (AFL) renamed Chiefs
1963-12-02 1964 NFL draft
1964-11-28 1965 NFL draft
1965-06-07 AFL owners voted to award two expansion teams for the 1966 season
1965-06-30 NFL expansion franchise awarded to Atlanta (Falcons) for 1968 season
1965-08-16 AFL expansion franchise awarded to Miami (Dolphins) for 1966 season.
1965-11-27 1966 NFL draft
1965-11-28 1966 AFL draft
1965-11-28 1966 AFL redshirt draft
1966-01-15 AFL expansion draft (Miami Dolphins)
1966-02-15 NFL expansion draft (Atlanta Falcons)
1966-06-08 NFL/AFL merger announced (actual merger to take place in 1970) (date 06-06 per Chiefs web site)
1966-11-01 NFL expansion franchise awarded to New Orleans (Saints) 1967
1967-01-09 New Orleans franchise named the Saints
1967-02-07 NFL expansion draft (New Orleans Saints)
1967-02-15 NFL expanded regular season schedule to 16 games
1967-03-14 1967 NFL/AFL common draft
1967-05-24 AFL expansion franchise awarded to Cincinnati (Bengals) for 1968
1968-01-15 AFL expansion draft (Cincinnati Bengals)
1968-01-30 — 1968-01-31 1968 NFL/AFL common draft
1969-01-28 — 1969-01-29 1969 NFL/AFL common draft
1970-01-27 — 1970-01-28 1970 NFL/AFL common draft
1970-03-13 Milt Woodall resigned as president of the AFL and was replaced by Lamar Hunt
1970-05-10 Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to move to AFC with remaining NFL teams joining NFC
1970-03-19 NFL-AFL merger
1970-07-19 NFL players strike
1970-08-03 NFL players strike ended
1971-01-28 — 1971-01-29 1971 NFL draft
1972-02-01 — 1972-02-02 1972 NFL draft (rounds 1-7 on day 1, rounds 8 through 17 on day 2)
1973-01-30 — 1973-01-31 1973 NFL draft
1973-10-02 World Football League (WFL) formed to begin play in 1974
1974-01-22 1974 WFL draft (rounds 1-6)
1974-01-29 — 1974-01-30 1974 NFL draft (rounds 1-5 on day 1, rounds 6-17 on day 2)
1974-02-05 1974 WFL draft (rounds 7-36)
1974-03-18 — 1974-03-19 WFL draft of NFL and CFL players (rounds 1-20 on day 1, rounds 21-40 on day 2)
1974-04-24 NFL expansion franchise awarded to Tampa Bay (Buccaneers) for 1976
1974-06-04 NFL expansion franchise awarded to Seattle (Seahawks) for 1976
1974-07-09 NFL players strike
1975-01-28 — 1975-01-29 1975 NFL draft
1975-10-22 WFL folded
1976-03-30 NFL expansion draft (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks)
1976-04-08 — 1976-04-09 1976 NFL draft
1977-03-01 NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed on a 5-year contract
1977-03-29 NFL owners voted to expand the regular season from 14 games to 16 and reduce the preseason to four games, starting in 1978. The playoffs were also expanded to include an additional wild card team per conference.
1977-05-03 — 1977-05-04 1977 NFL draft
1978-05-02 — 1978-05-03 1978 NFL draft
1979-05-03 — 1979-05-04 1979 NFL draft
1980-04-29 — 1980-04-30 1980 NFL draft
1981-04-28 — 1981-04-29 1981 NFL draft
1982-04-27 — 1982-04-28 1982 NFL draft
1982-05-07 Oakland Raiders moved to Los Angeles
1982-05-11 USFL is formed with charter franchises Birmingham Stallions, Boston Breakers, Chicago Blitz, Denver Gold, Detroit ?, Los Angeles Express, New Jersey Generals, Oakland Invaders, Philadelphia Stars, San Diego ?, Tampa Bay Bandits, and Washington Federals
1982-08-06 Oakland Invaders (USFL) moved to Arizona. San Diego franchise moved to Los Angeles.
1982-09-08 Arizona Invaders (USFL) renamed Wranglers
1982-09-20 NFL players strike
1982-11-16 NFL players strike ended (agreed to new 5-year contract)
1983-01-04 — 1983-01-05 1983 USFL draft (rounds 1-16 on 01-04, rounds 17-24 on 01-05)
1983-04-28 USFL granted expansion franchise to Pittsburgh (to begin play next March)
1983-05-16 USFL granted expansion franchise to San Diego (to begin play next March)
1983-04-26 — 1983-04-27 1983 NFL draft
1983-09-06 — 1983-09-07 USFL Veteran Allocation Draft
1983-07-27 USFL San Antonio franchise named Gunslingers
1983-09-06 USFL expansion draft (Houston Gamblers, Jacksonville Bulls, Memphis Showboats, Oklahoma Outlaws, Pittsburgh Maulers, San Antonio Gunslingers)
1984-01-04 — 1984-01-05 1984 USFL draft (rounds 1-11 on 01-04, rounds 12-19 on 01-05)
1984-03-28 Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis
1984-05-01 — 1984-05-02 1984 NFL draft
1984-06-05 NFL supplemental draft of USFL and CFL players
1984-08-22 USFL owners voted to move their league's 1986 season to the fall and directly compete with the NFL
1984-11-01 Philadelphia Stars (USFL) moved to Baltimore
1984-11-14 New Orleans Breakers (USFL) announced move to Portland for 1985 season
1985-01-03 1985 USFL draft
1985-04-30 — 1985-05-01 1985 NFL draft
1985-08-01 Houston Gamblers (USFL) sold and merged with New Jersey Generals (USFL)
1986-04-22 1986 USFL territorial draft
1986-04-29 — 1986-04-30 1986 NFL draft
1986-05-06 1985 USFL draft
1986-07-29 USFL awarded $1 in $1.7 billion law suit against NFL
1986-08-04 USFL suspended operations
1987-04-28 — 1987-04-29 1987 NFL draft
1987-09-21 NFL players strike
1987-10-25 NFL players strike ended
1988-03-24 St. Louis Cardinals moved to Phoenix
1988-04-24 — 1988-04-25 1988 NFL draft
1989-03-22 Pete Rozelle retired as NFL commissioner
1989-04-23 — 1989-04-24 1989 NFL draft
1989-07-07 1989 NFL Supplemental draft
1989-10-26 Paul Tagliabue named NFL commissioner
1990-02-27 NFL announced it would play its 16-game schedule in a 17-week period, giving each team a bye week
1990-03-01 NFL revised its playoff format, allowing one extra wild card team in each conference to make the playoffs
1990-04-22 — 1990-04-23 1990 NFL draft
1991-03-23 NFL launched the World League of American Football
1991-04-21 — 1991-04-22 1991 NFL draft (rounds 1-4 on day 1, rounds 5-12 on day 2)
1993-04-26 — 1993-04-27 1992 NFL draft
1993-04-25 — 1993-04-26 1993 NFL draft
1993-10-26 NFL expansion franchise awarded to Carolina (Panthers) to begin play in 1995
1993-11-30 NFL expansion franchise awarded to Jacksonville (Jaguars)
1994-03-17 Phoenix Cardinals renamed Arizona Cardinals
1994-04-24 — 1994-04-25 1994 NFL draft
1995-02-15 NFL expansion draft (Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars)
1995-04-12 NFL owners approved Los Angeles Rams move to St. Louis
1995-04-22 — 1995-04-23 1995 NFL draft (rounds 1-2 on day 1, rounds 3-7 on day 2)
1995-06-23 Los Angeles Raiders moved to Oakland
1995-07-21 Raiders move to Oakland approved by NFL owners
1995-11-16 Oilers owner K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr. and Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen sign a relocation agreement to move the Oilers to Tennessee
1996-02-09 NFL owners approved the Cleveland Browns move to Baltimore (where they were later renamed the Ravens)
1996-03-29 Baltimore Browns renamed the Ravens
1996-04-30 NFL owners approved Houston Oilers move to Tennessee
1997-06-12 Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee
1998-04-18 — 1998-04-19 1998 NFL draft (rounds 1-3 on day 1, rounds 4-7 on day 2)
1998-09-08 NFL announced expansion team in Cleveland (Browns) to begin play in 1999
1998-12-22 Tennessee Oilers announced name change name to Titans beginning in 1999 season
1999-02-09 NFL expansion draft (Cleveland Browns)
1999-04-17 — 1999-04-18 1999 NFL draft (rounds 1-3 on day 1, rounds 4-7 on day 2)
1999-09-12 Cleveland Browns begin play
1999-10-06 NFL expansion franchise awarded to Houston (Texans) to begin play in 2002
2000-04-15 — 2000-04-16 2000 NFL draft (rounds 1-3 on day 1, rounds 4-7 on day 2)
2001-04-21 — 2001-04-22 2001 NFL draft (rounds 1-3 on day 1, rounds 4-7 on day 2)
2001-05-22 NFL owners vote unanimously for realignment in 2002
2001-09-06 Houston expansion franchise named Texans
2002-02-18 NFL expansion draft (Houston Texans)
2002-04-20 — 2002-04-21 2002 NFL draft (rounds 1-3 on day 1, rounds 4-7 on day 2)
2002-09-08 Houston Texans begin play
2003-04-26 — 2003-04-27 2003 NFL draft (rounds 1-3 on day 1, rounds 4-7 on day 2)
2004-04-25 — 2004-04-26 2004 NFL draft (rounds 1-3 on day 1, rounds 4-7 on day 2)
2005-04-23 — 2005-04-24 2005 NFL draft (rounds 1-3 on day 1, rounds 4-7 on day 2)
2006-04-29 — 2006-04-30 2006 NFL draft (rounds 1-3 on day 1, rounds 4-7 on day 2)
2007-04-28 — 2007-04-29 2007 NFL draft (rounds 1-3 on day 1, rounds 4-7 on day 2)
2008-04-26 — 2008-04-27 2008 NFL draft (rounds 1-2 on day 1, rounds 3-7 on day 2)
2009-04-25 — 2009-04-26 2009 NFL draft (rounds 1-2 on day 1, rounds 3-7 on day 2)
2010-04-22 — 2010-04-24 2010 NFL draft (round 1 on day 1, rounds 2-3 on day 2, rounds 4-7 on day 3)
2011-04-28 — 2010-04-30 2011 NFL draft (round 1 on day 1, rounds 2-3 on day 2, rounds 4-7 on day 3)
2011-08-22 2011 NFL supplemental draft
2012-04-26 — 2012-04-28 2012 NFL draft (round 1 on day 1, rounds 2-3 on day 2, rounds 4-7 on day 3)
2013-04-25 — 2013-04-27 2013 NFL draft (round 1 on day 1, rounds 2-3 on day 2, rounds 4-7 on day 3)
2014-05-08 — 2014-05-10 2014 NFL draft (round 1 on day 1, rounds 2-3 on day 2, rounds 4-7 on day 3)
2015-04-30 — 2015-05-02 2015 NFL draft (round 1 on day 1, rounds 2-3 on day 2, rounds 4-7 on day 3)
2016-04-28 — 2016-04-30 2016 NFL draft (round 1 on day 1, rounds 2-3 on day 2, rounds 4-7 on day 3)