Important dates to know for the 2023 NFL season

Keep this bookmarked to keep tabs on the important deadlines for next year.

Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles
Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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As NFL teams get ready to report for training camp, it's a sign that a new season of football is upon us. A new year is filled with the promise of success for all involved, and for fans, it's also filled with a slew of dates that need to be remembered.

To that end, we've got you covered through the next offseason with the dates you'll neeed to know if you want to pay attention like an NFL general manager. Here are the important dates for the 2023 NFL season and what it means for each.

August 3 - The Hall of Fame Game

The NFL preseason opens with the arrival of this exhibition, signaling actual competitive football once again after several months of the long offseason without it. This year, the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets will be taking part and it should be interesting to watch and see if we get any action from Deshaun Watson and/or Aaron Rodgers in this contest.

August 29 - Roster Cuts Due

This is when every team must pare down their rosters from the bloated numbers allowed during the offseason (up to 90 players) to the 53-man roster limits imposed by the regular season. This means every player must have a decision made about their standing with the team and/or an official label placed on any injuries. This means players must have their contracts terminated or traded or waived or find themselves placed on injured reserve if they will not make the final cut.

August 30 - Waiver Claims; Practice Squads

Remember that roster cuts mean that a few dozen players will hit free agency from each NFL team. Yea, that means over 1,000 players will be available who were not before, and some general managers will stay especially busy trying to grab the best players they can from more competitive rosters. For a championship team like the Kansas City Chiefs, that means other teams will have the chance to see what they do with the likes of Justyn Ross or Josh Kaindoh.

In addition to the waiver wire frenzy on this day, it's also important to note clubs can form practice squads for the first time here—up to 16 players. Waiver claims are due at 12:00 p.m. on this day (ET) so practice squads can form quickly after lunch.

September 7 - NFL Kickoff: Chiefs vs. Lions

The season officially gets underway with the Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, hosting the Detroit Lions at Arrowhead Stadium on a special Thursday night game that will put Andy Reid and company in primetime for the first of several occasions in 2023. While K.C. is used to teams taking their best shots against them, Dan Campbell will be interesting to watch considering how hot the Lions were to end the '22 season.

October 17-18 - Fall League Meetings

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL owners meet every spring and fall to discuss the state of the league. Last year at this time, owners were figuring out how to reimburse the league for its payments to fans in St. Louis (after losing the Rams. They also met to discern the right way forward with Dan Snyder as owner of the Washington Commanders.

October 31 - NFL Trade Deadline

This year, the trade deadline feels like it comes a bit early which means that some teams might be frustrated by their inability to sell when they need it. It also means fewer deals will likely be made when so many teams are technically still in the hunt. That said, it's always a lot of fun to discuss any and all players on the trade block, so watch for this frenzy to start in early October.

November 14 - Tagged Players Must Report

If any player has been trying to send a strong message to his team that he wants a new deal—perhaps running back Josh Jacobs to the Raiders, for instance—then they have to report by this day if they want to play a single down in 2023. This is true for any players given the franchise tag or transition tag.

December 12-13 - Front Office Accelerator

For the last couple of years, the league has launched a Front Office Accelerator, a program intended to help minority candidates in front offices gain traction toward promotions by providing a short retreat of networking and learning in order to expand their knowledge and meet NFL owners.

January 8 - Roster Updates Lifted

On this day, NFL teams not headed to the postseason are allowed to sign free agents to reserve/futures contracts. In addition, teams can exercise a fifth-year option on all first-round rookies from the 2021 NFL Draft and negotiate an extension with any player from that class.

January 13-15 - NFL WIld Card Games are held

The first round of the NFL postseason gets underway with several Wild Card games featuring the second through seventh seeds. First round seeds get an initial bye here before entering postseason play.

January 15 - College prospects must declare

If a college player wants to forgo his final season(s) of eligibility in order to declare for the NFL Draft, he must do so by this date.

January 20-21 - Divisional Round Games are held

First-round seeds enter the picture and the NFL playoffs will be down to a final four after this weekend is over.

January 28 - Conference Championships are held

The season will end for two more teams and the participants for Super Bowl LVIII will be made known after the final showdowns to determine the champs in the AFC and NFC.

February 4 - Pro Bowl Games scheduled

The NFL's version of an all-star exhibition is held in Orlando. The league has been toying with the game in recent years, so there might be further changes to the way teams are formed or what specifically the players involved will be doing.

February 11 - Super Bowl LVIII

The league awarded Super Bowl LVIII to Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas a few years ago, but it looks like a real stretch to think the Raiders might enjoy a home game here. That said, Sin City should provide a fun backdrop for the biggest sporting event of the year.

February 20 - March 5 - Teams can tag players for '24

If a team wants to secure the services of a player who might be out of reach financially heading into free agency, they can officially tag a player with the franchise or transition tag on this date going forward into a new league year. They must make this decision by 4:00 p.m. E.T. on March 5

February 27 - March 4 - NFL Scouting Combine

Rumors persist each year that the league might one day move its annual "underwear olympics" away from Indianapolis, but for at least the next year or more, the league will call all college prospects to come to Indy for a week of workouts, interviews, and medical checks.

March 13 - New League Year begins

The new league year begins. This means free agents can officially sign with new teams and old contracts are now finished. Official "tampering" can begin two days earlier on March 11 between prospective teams and free agents to be.

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