NFL Offseason Schedule 2023: Important Dates For NFL Draft, Free Agency, Training Camp & More
The Super Bowl is over and the Kansas City Chiefs are champions once again after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-35 on a last-second field goal. Now, both Philly and Kansas City can join the other 30 NFL teams in preparing for all that the offseason entails.
With the Chiefs now having a target on their backs as the defending champions and 31 other teams doing what they can to knock them off the mountaintop, the offseason is crucial for everyone.
Let's go month-by-month and highlight all the key dates you need to know for this year's NFL offseason.
2023 NFL Offseason Schedule
Franchise/Transition Tag Window (February 17-March 7): This represents the time period that teams have the ability to franchise tag or transition tag a player. Only one player per team can be assigned the franchise tag.
Compensatory Picks (Late February/Early March): This is when the compensatory picks (draft picks rewarded for previous year's free gains/losses) for the NFL Draft are announced. There is no set date for this
NFL Scouting Combine (February 26-March 6): The start date of the NFL Scouting Combine. All of the top collegiate players in the country eligible for the NFL Draft are invited to Indianapolis to show off their physical and mental skills of a variety of drills and tests, having the chance to meet and be scouted by representatives from all 32 NFL franchises. This runs through March 6.
Contract Negotiation/Legal Tampering Window (March 13-15): At noon on this day, agents and teams are permitted to begin negotiating contracts, although contact with the actual player in not yet allowed. This is called the NFL free agency tampering period.
2023 New League Year Begins
League Year Starts (March 15 at 4 p.m. ET): This marks the official start of the 2023 NFL league year, and it ends the tampering period. NFL free agency officially opens and both players and agents are allowed to speak directly and negotiate with teams on potential new contracts. Any contracts that have been agreed upon in the last two days can officially be signed.
College Pro Days (Late March): This is the beggining of pro days for major schools, with a big focus being on quarterbacks. Below are the current pro day schedules for some top QB prospects.
- C.J. Stroud, Ohio State Pro Day: March 22
- Bryce Young, Alabama Pro Day: March 23
- Will Levis, Kentucky Pro Day: March 24
Florida QB Anthony Richardson, who is also expected to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, has not yet scheduled his pro day.
Owners Meetings (March 26-29): This is more focused on the business side of things, such as any media rights that are up for renewal, the sale or purchase of a franchise, and the host city for the NFL Draft.
New Head Coach Offseason Workouts (April 3): New head coaches get a two-week head start over the rest of the league on being allowed to begin their official offseason workout programs.
Offseason Workouts Begin (April 17): Teams with returning head coaches may begin their offseason workout programs, meaning this will be when the majority of the NFL does so.
Restricted Free Agent Deadline (April 21): Teams may sign restricted free agents to offer sheets until this date, after which those players' current teams will have an opportunity to match.
NFL Draft (April 27-29): The highlight of the offseason every year, the NFL Draft takes place over three days. Round 1 takes place on Thursday, April 27, Rounds 2 & 3 are Friday night, April 29, and then the final rounds 4-7 are an all-day affair on Saturday, April 29.
Fifth-Year Option Deadline (May 1): Contracts for first-round draft picks are for four years, with an optional fifth year that the team can accept or decline. The players that fit this instance were drafted three years ago, so this offseason, teams will have to make a decision on players selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Rookie Mini Camps (May 5-8, May12-15): Teams have two options for dates to run three-day rookie minicamps.
League Meetings (May 22-24): These meetings are more focused on the on-field NFL product than the earlier owners meetings. Various rule changes both on and off the field will be discussed. This provides referees and teams ample time to learn and prepare how to deal with any potential changes to how the game will look on the field or how front offices will operate off of it.
June 1 Tender (June 1): This one gets a little technical, but when you hear that a player is designated as a "post-June 1 cut," they don't actually have to be held onto until this date. Teams can submit a tender by this date, which changes the accounting of dead cap hits (deferring some of the money to the following season).
Teams can officially start Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and mandatory minicamps in June. This marks the first time teams can require everyone on the roster to attend. These are non-contact practices to avoid serious injuries and are much more about learning the playbook, figuring out player roles, and getting an overall foundation set for the upcoming season before actual training camp begins.
While there is no specific date set for every team on this one, late July always spawns the opening of training camps for all 32 teams. Practices become more intense and the rosters start to get whittled down to the final 53 men that will take the field in Week 1.
Franchise Tag Deadline (July 15): Any multi-year contract extension with a franchise tagged player must occur by July 15. After this date those players will only be eligible for one-year contracts, which can't be extended until after the team's final regular season game.
Physical Examination Deadline (August 1): This is the final day for teams to determine a player's eligibility from a physical standpoint and ensure the health and safety of each player prior to the start of preseason play.
Hall of Fame Game - Jaguars vs. Raiders (August 4): This the NFL's first preseason game for the season, and is held in Canton, Ohio. In 2023, the Jacksonville Jaguars will take on the Las Vegas Raiders.
Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony (August 5): The day after the Hall of Fame Game the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame class will be officially enshrined.
Preseason Week 1 (August 11)
85-Man Roster Cut (August 16): Teams will have to cut down their rosters to 85 players combined on the active/inactive list.
Preseason Week 2 (August 18-22)
Preseason Week 3 (August 25-28)
August 30 is when all teams will have to make their final cuts on the roster to bring it down to 53 players. This date always brings about some surprising cuts of both veterans and maybe even some rookies from the draft.
David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.