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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Key Dates for the 2023 NFL Season

Here are some important dates to mark on the calendar as the 2023 season gets underway


The New League Year officially begins on March 15 and there are several dates to monitor as the off-season officially commences for the Buccaneers. From the Scouting Combine to the Free Agency negotiating window, here is a rundown of dates for football enthusiasts to keep an eye on:


  • February 13: The waiver period begins. A 24-hour claiming period will be in effect through the Friday prior to the last regular season game. Players with at least four previous pension-credited seasons whom a club desires to terminate are not subject to the waiver system until after the trade deadline.
  • February 21: Beginning this date through 4:00 p.m., New York time on March 7, clubs may designate Franchise or Transition Players
  • February 28 - March 6: NFL Scouting Combine (Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN)


  • March 7: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
  • March 13-15: The negotiation period begins, better known as the free agency frenzy. During the period beginning at 12:00 noon, New York time, on March 13 and ending at 3:59 p.m., New York time on March 15, clubs are allowed to contact, and enter into contact negotiations with the certified agents of players who are set to become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2022 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time on March 15. During the aforementioned two-day negotiating window, a prospective UFA who is not represented by the NFLPA Certified Contact Advisor is permitted to communicate directly with a new team's front office officials (excluding the Head Coach and other members of the club's coaching staff) regarding contract negotiations.
  • March 15: End/Start of the new league year. Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2023 on all players who have option clauses in their 2022 contracts. Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents with expiring contracts to retain a right of first refusal/compensation. Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain the exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2022 contracts who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit. Top 51 Rule is in effect. All clubs must be under the 2023 Salary Cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time. All 2022 NFL player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time. The 2023 League Year and Free Agency period begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time. The first day of the 2023 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 15. Clubs will receive a Personnel Notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 15.
  • March 15: Trading period for 2023. Trading begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2022 contracts.
  • March 26-29: Annual League Meeting


  • April 17: Clubs with returning Head Coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
  • April 21: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.
  • April 26: Deadline for Prior Clubs to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.
  • April 27-29: 2023 NFL Draft (Kansas City, MO)


  • May 1: Deadline for Clubs to exercise the Fifth-Year Option for players selected in the first round of the 2020 Draft.
  • May 5-8 or May 12-15: Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday on one of the two weekends following the Draft.

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