Four weeks into the NFL season, we have already encountered many different storylines and surprises. But there is still a long way to go until we reach the postseason. Here, we’ve compiled the most important dates you need to circle on your calendar as the season enters its second month, along with some essential offseason dates leading up to the NFL Draft.
After beating the Atlanta Falcons in London last week, the Jaguars will become the first team to play back-to-back games in Europe on October 8. The game will be a potential AFC playoff preview as the Jaguars will face off against the Buffalo Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, also in London.
The energy continues to build on October 15 as the Baltimore Ravens battle it out with the Tennessee Titans at the same venue.
Switching gears from the field to the boardroom, the next significant event is the Fall League Meeting in New York on October 17 and 18. This meeting is a crucial forum for discussions about league policies and procedures.
Finally, the month wraps up with a deadline that could potentially shake up team rosters. On October 31, all trading ends for 2023 at 4 p.m. EST. This deadline is thrilling as teams make their final moves to strengthen their squads before the cut-off.
November is packed with more international games and significant deadlines.
On November 1, players with at least four previous pension-credited seasons fall under the waiver system for the rest of the regular and postseason.
NFL’s international expansion continues with two more games at Frankfurt Stadium in Germany. The Miami Dolphins take on the Kansas City Chiefs on November 5, followed by a Week 10 clash between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots on November 12. Keep an eye on NFL Week 10 odds to stay ahead of the pack when placing your bets.
On November 14, a series of critical deadlines approach at 4 p.m. EDT. This is the end of the signing period for franchise players who are eligible to receive offer sheets. It’s also the last chance for clubs to sign their unsigned franchise and transition players, including those eligible to receive offer sheets until this date. Failure to sign means these players are prohibited from playing in the NFL in 2023.
The same deadline applies to unrestricted free agents who received the “UFA Tender” and to restricted free agents, including those who received the “June 1 Tender.” If they remain unsigned, these players, too, will be barred from NFL play in 2023. Keep an eye on these dates, as they are pivotal moments that could drastically impact team rosters and the 2023 NFL season.
The first-ever “Black Friday” game will occur on November 24, the day after Thanksgiving, when the Miami Dolphins travel to New York to take on the New York Jets.
The last month of 2023 begins with an event that is crucial for team owners and general managers – the Special League Meeting/Front Office Accelerator in Irving, Texas, on December 12 and 13. This meeting provides a platform for owners to discuss league business and strategies for future success. It also offers opportunities for networking and learning from industry experts through panels and workshops.
The new year kicks off with a bang as the NFL enters a crucial phase of player movements and playoff games.
On January 6 and 7, mark your calendars for the Week 18 games to witness the final regular-season games. All matchups are divisional.
The action doesn’t stop there, as clubs can begin signing their own free-agent players for the 2024 season on January 8. This is also the earliest that teams will be able to extend or renegotiate the rookie contract of a player signed as an undrafted free agent in 2022 or a player taken in any round of the 2021 NFL Draft. In addition, this date is the deadline for teams to pick up the fifth-year option on first-round 2021 NFL Draft picks.
Moving on to January 10, rosters freeze at 4 p.m. EDT for clubs participating in the postseason, with limited exceptions.
This is followed by the much-anticipated Wild Card Playoff Games taking place from January 13 to 15.
On January 15, college players who are underclassmen have until this date to apply for Special Eligibility for the 2024 NFL Draft. The approved list will be sent to clubs on January 19.
The Divisional Playoff Games are set to take place on January 20 and 21, setting the stage for the eventual championship games.
Finally, the month climaxes with the AFC and NFC Championship Games on January 28, where the conference champions will be crowned and the Super Bowl teams will be set.
February emerges with a fresh round of NFL excitement as the season hits its climax. The first significant event is the Pro Bowl Games, scheduled for February 4. Fans will be treated to star-studded games featuring the best players from each conference.
On February 11, the football world will converge on Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII.
From February 20 through 4 p.m. EDT on March 5, clubs may designate their franchise or transition players. This period is critical for teams to secure their most valuable assets for the upcoming season.
Lastly, round off the month with the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis from February 27 to March 4. This event will allow teams to evaluate the next generation of NFL talent in preparation for the upcoming draft.
The period from March 11 to March 13 allows clubs to begin contract negotiations with the certified agents of players due to become unrestricted free agents at the expiration of their 2023 contracts.
However, no prospective unrestricted free agent can sign a contract with a new club until 4 p.m. EDT on March 13, when the league year officially begins. The trading period for this year also starts at this time, immediately after the expiration of all 2023 contracts.
The month’s activities conclude with the Annual League Meeting in Orlando from March 24-27. This is an opportunity for team owners and executives to discuss league affairs and make crucial decisions regarding the future of the NFL.
On April 1, those clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2023 regular season are allowed to commence their offseason workout programs. This gives the new management a head start to implement their strategies and start shaping the team for the upcoming season.
By April 15, clubs with returning head coaches can kick off their off-season workout programs. This period is crucial for the teams to start conditioning their athletes and lay the foundation for the 2024 season.
The month caps off with the NFL Draft taking place from April 25-27 in Detroit. This event is the culmination of months of scouting and analysis as teams select the next generation of NFL talent. These selections can significantly impact the team’s performance in the upcoming season, making the Draft a must-watch event for all NFL fans.