January 31, 2018

Mark Your Calendars | Key 2018 Dates Announced

Andrew Harris. Thursday, March 23, 2017. (Photo: Johany Jutras)

Canadian Football League fans were giddy to have the 2018 schedule released before Christmas.

And now the league has come through again for its diehards, releasing this week some of the other key dates in the 2018 season – including the opening of the free agency period later this month and the details for the highly popular CFL Week, which will be held here in Winnipeg in March.

Yes, it’s time to update your calendars, football fans, with the following:

FEBRUARY 13: The opening of CFL free agency, with teams able to augment their talent with players who did not re-sign with their teams beginning at 11 a.m. The Bombers didn’t make a huge splash in free agency last year as in previous winters, but did add defensive tackle Drake Nevis and receiver Matt Coates, both of whom started games for the club last year.

MARCH 7: Eastern Regional Combine, Montreal – Draft-eligible players compete in a variety of drills and combine testing for the chance to attend the national combine.

MARCH 9: Ontario Regional Combine, Toronto.

MARCH 20-22: Rules Committee and Competition Committee Meetings, Winnipeg.

MARCH 22: Western Regional Combine, Winnipeg – Subway Soccer South.

MARCH 21-25: Mark’s CFL Week, Winnipeg: The second annual CFL Week, following last year’s wildly successful event in Regina. Several star CFL players will arrive on March 21st, followed by the top draft-eligible prospects for the National Combine. As well, the 2018 inductees into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame will be announced.

Fans will have the opportunity to be involved and watch several events, including autograph signings, player panels, and watch the combine testing and drills. Most events will be held at the RBC Convention Centre and University of Winnipeg RecPlex.


MARCH 23-25: National CFL Combine, Winnipeg: The league’s GMs and coaches will put the Top 50 draft-eligible prospects through a series of combine testing and one-on-one drills – as well as personal interviews – in their final look at young Canadian talent before the draft.

The schedule and roster for the combine will be finalized closer to the event.

APRIL 30: CFL teams must reduce rosters to 75.

MAY 3: The CFL Draft: The Montreal Alouettes currently hold the first overall selection, followed by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, B.C. Lions, Ottawa REDBLACKS, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Edmonton Eskimos, Bombers, Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts.

The Bombers have eight selections in the draft and will choose 7th, 16th, 26th, 33rd, 41st, 49th, 58th and 67th overall. Winnipeg held the first-overall pick last year, selecting University of Iowa defensive tackle Faith Ekakitie. A full list of the draft order can be found here:

MAY 16: Rookie camps open.

MAY 20: Main training camps open.

MAY 27: The CFL preseason begins.

JUNE 1: Preseason #1 for the Bombers: Edmonton at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

JUNE 8: Preseason #2 for the Bombers: Winnipeg at B.C., 9:30 p.m.

JUNE 9: CFL teams must reduce their rosters by 9 p.m.

JUNE 14: 2018 CFL Season Kickoff/Bombers home opener: Edmonton at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

OCTOBER 10: CFL Trade deadline, 3 p.m.

NOVEMBER 11: Eastern and Western Semi-Finals

NOVEMBER 18: Eastern and Western Finals

NOVEMBER 25: 106th Grey Cup, Edmonton