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2023 NFL League Calendar: Important dates including Free Agency and the Draft

A look at the important dates for the 2023 offseason.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Now that we are in offseason mode in the NFL, it is appropriate to look at the important dates coming up on the league calendar, including dates related to the combine, free agency, and the NFL Draft.

NFL Scouting Combine

The NFL Combine is back this year and will take place from February 28-March 6 in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Franchise Tag, Free Agency, and NFL Draft Dates

Here are some other important upcoming league dates (for the year 2023) to be aware of:

  • February 21st: Teams can begin applying the franchise or transition tag to players on their team.
  • March 7th: The final day to declare a franchise player, before 4:00 PM ET.
  • March 13th - March 15th: Teams can begin entering contract negotiations with players who will be unrestricted free agents. Qualifying offers to restricted free agents and offers to unrestricted free agents who the team wants to retain should also be made during this stretch. This is otherwise known as the “legal tampering period.”
  • March 15th: At 4:00 PM ET, free agency officially begins, and teams may begin signing players or trading players who are still under contract. Additionally, all teams must be under the salary cap at this time.
  • March 26th - March 29th: Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, AZ
  • April 17th: Teams with returning coaches can begin their offseason programs. This includes the Browns. Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2022 regular season may begin offseason workout programs on April 3rd.
  • April 21st: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.
  • April 27th - April 29th: NFL Draft, Kansas City, MO
  • May 1: Deadline for clubs to exercise Fifth-Year Option for players selected in the first round of the 2020 Draft.