The 2023 NFL Offseason: Dates, Deadlines, and When to Expect Bears Things
Super Bowl LVII is in the books! This means the Chicago Bears’ trek toward future championship glory greatness essentially begins today.
We’re in offseason mode. This means we’re already looking at the most important dates on the NFL calendar that Bears fans and the rest of the NFL should keep in mind.
We’ll be updating this post as the NFL adds to its calendar when new important dates and deadlines are announced.
Jan. 16: Deadline for college underclassmen to enter the 2023 NFL Draft.
Jan. 28: NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Pasadena (Calif.) is the first of a handful of college football prospect showcase games.
Feb. 2: East-West Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas
Feb. 4: Senior Bowl in Mobile (Ala.)
TODAY: The waiver wire opens up! And by virtue of having the worst record in the NFL, the Bears will be sitting with the first waiver claim spot for anyone who hates the wire.
21: Teams can begin using the Franchise or Transition Tag on free-agents-to-be. I’m not sure there is a player on the Bears who fits the profile of someone who should get either tag. But I’m open to suggestions.
25: HBCU Legacy Bowl in New Orleans.
28: The NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis begins. It runs through March 6.
7: Deadline for teams to designate Franchise or Transition Tag players.
- Also, colleges can begin hosting Pro Days for draft-eligible prospects on campus. Around this time, we’ll start hearing about dinners, meetings, and interviews between teams and prospects.
- Ooh. And draft-eligible players can begin visiting team facilities, too. Many of these will be referred to as Top-30 visits, which can include physicals (but no on-field workouts)
- One last thing: Video and telephone interviews with draft-eligible players can begin. There is a limit of three video or phone interviews per player. And they can’t run longer than an hour in length.
13: The NFL’s “legal tampering period” begins at 11 a.m. CT and runs through 2:59 p.m. CT on March 15. Teams can negotiate contracts and agree on terms, but deals cannot be signed during this stretch of days.
15: Happy New League Year! Business hours begin at 3 p.m. CT. Here’s what that means:
- Teams can sign unrestricted free agent contracts that were agreed upon during the “legal tampering” period.
- League clubs can also execute trades there were agreed to before the start of the new league year.
- The period of submitting qualifying offers to restricted free agents opens.
26: Annual League Meeting in Phoenix.
3: New head coach hires can start offseason their offseason workout programs. Last year, the Bears were among those who got the early start. This year, not so much.
17: The Bears (as well as the other teams with returning head coaches) can begin offseason workout programs.
19: Deadline for teams to visit, interview, test, or give a physical to a draft-eligible player at the team facility.
21: Last day for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.
27: The Chicago Bears (or a lucky team that makes a trade for that No. 1 overall pick) go on the clock as the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft begins. The draft, which is being hosted in Kansas City this year, runs from April 27-29.
TBD: The NFL schedule release show.
1: Deadline for teams to exercise fifth-year option for first-round picks from the 2020 NFL Draft. The Bears didn’t have a first-rounder in 2020, so there is nothing for GM Ryan Poles to worry about here.
5-8 or 12-15: Teams can host a three-day rookie minicamp
15: Rookie Football Development Programs can begin
18-21: NFLPA Rookie Premiere (Hey! That’s a thing Velus Jones Jr. did last offseason.)
22-24: Spring League Meeting
More to come…