Every Important Date to Know for the NFL 2023-24 Season

  • When is the NFL trade deadline this year?
  • What day does the first playoff game start?

NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers
NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

With NFL training camps and the preseason on the horizon, it's finally starting to feel like football is back. Fans from every team look forward to watching their players in action as they daydream about what type of season they could have this year.

Seemingly all at once, a relaxing training camp period is hammered with some crucial dates -- some of which will quite literally shape your team in 2023. Here are all of the important upcoming dates that you should be aware of, according to Football Operations:

Important NFL Dates in 2023-24:

August 3 - The Hall of Fame Game

The Hall of Fame Game always marks the first football game of the new preseason. This year's contest will be a battle between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets. These two teams will play four preseason games in 2023 with the rest of the league suiting up for just three exhibition contests.

August 29 - Roster Cuts Due

You'll certainly want to mark this one on your calendars. In the past, there have been multiple cutdown days. This year, the NFL is experimenting with just one day of roster cuts. This means that teams could have up to 90 players and be forced to get down to just 53 in a matter of hours before the 4:00 p.m. ET deadline on August 29th.

August 30 - Waiver Claims; Practice Squads

Immediately following roster cuts are NFL waiver claims. This means that over 1,000 players will be available for claims. This will be one of the busiest days of the year for NFL general managers and front offices. Likewise, following roster cuts on the 29th, teams can begin assembling their 16-man practice squads.

September 7 - NFL Kickoff: Chiefs vs. Lions

While this might not be the blockbuster matchup everyone is hoping to see, fans aren't going to want to miss the first game of the regular season. On Thursday, September 7th, the Detroit Lions will host the Kansas City Chiefs in a game that will officially mark the start of the new season. These were two of the most high-powered offenses from a season ago.

October 17-18 - Fall League Meetings

A day that doesn't draw as much publicity is the fall league meetings (probably because this occurs in the thick of the NFL season). NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will meet with owners to discuss the state of the league and possible plans for improvement.

October 31 - NFL Trade Deadline

This is a must for all serious football fans. The NFL trade deadline always promises chaos, as well-established players (and sometimes even stars) are shipped to new teams just hours before the clock ticks down on the trade deadline. Like always, there is sure to be a flurry of moves that get football fans excited.

November 14 - Tagged Players Must Report

On November 14th, all tagged players must report to their teams. Those who fail to do so by this date will not only be losing paychecks along the way, but they will also not be eligible to play a single snap in 2023 if they don't report to their team. Players who were given the franchise tag or with contract disagreements may elect to hold out early in the season.

December 12-13 - Front Office Accelerator

Over the past few years, the NFL has launched a Front Office Accelerator. This is a program indented to help minority candidates in the front office gain traction toward promotions through training and networking.

January 8 - Roster Updates Lifted

On January 8th, any teams who are not headed to the playoffs are free to sign their free agents to reserve/futures contracts. Teams also have the ability to exercise fifth-year options from former first round picks from the 2021 NFL Draft at this time.

January 13-15 - NFL WIld Card Games are held

January 13th marks the beginning of the first wave of Wild Card games in the NFL. There will be multiple contests over a three-day period from the 2nd through 7th seeds in both the AFC and the NFL. The top seed from each conference earns a first-round bye.

January 15 - College prospects must declare

For those of us who are big NFL Draft fans, January 15th is an important day to note. Though this day will be overshadowed by what is happening in the NFL playoffs, college prospects must declare for the NFL Draft. Those who don't will not be eligible to be drafted.

January 20-21 - Divisional Round Games are held

Roughly a week after the Wild Card round, the Divisional Round games are held. The first seeds now enter the playoff picture and matchups in the second round will be determined by seeding (with the number 1 seed getting the lowest remaining seed and so on).

January 28 - Conference Championships are held

On January 28th, the Conference Championships will take place. This is one of the most-watched days in the NFL, as the two teams remaining from each conference square off for a chance to enter the Super Bowl.

February 4 - Pro Bowl Games scheduled

After the Super Bowl teams have been determined, there will be a week in between the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl. During this time, Pro Bowl activities will take place. This will be held in Orlando and could feature some new and old competitions between AFC and NFC Pro Bowlers.

February 11 - Super Bowl LVIII

Super Bowl LVIII is scheduled to kick off on February 11th at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. This is routinely the most-watched sporting event in the United States each year, and its popularity continues to grow. One team will crowned champions of the National Football League.

February 20 - March 5 - Teams can tag players for 2024

Beginning on February 20th, teams can place tags on their players for the upcoming 2024 season. This includes the franchise or transitions tags, as they look to retain players before free agency begins. All tag decisions must be finalized by 4:00 p.m. ET on March 5th.

February 27 - March 4 - NFL Scouting Combine

February 27th marks the start of the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. This is the biggest single event in preparation for the NFL Draft as numerous participants will gather in Indianapolis for workouts, interviews, and medical checks.

March 13 - New League Year begins

On March 13th, the new league calendar year begins. This means that free agents can officially sign with new teams and old contracts are officially expired. The legal tampering period can begin two days prior to this, but no new deals will be official until this time.