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March Is Here!
An NFL Draft Podcast
The 2022 NFL season is over, capped off with the Kansas City Chiefs winning Super Bowl LVII. As the page now flips to the offseason for every team, 31 of them will try and figure out how they can take the next step in their development and hopefully overtake the Chiefs in the race for next year’s Lombardi Trophy. 
As we move our way through the offseason, there are a lot of key dates to keep in mind. We’ve broken down the offseason into different segments, so you’re able to keep an eye out for the ways teams can set about improving their roster and developing their players as they prepare for the 2023 campaign. 
Let’s call this the offseason prep period, where teams begin identifying which players from last season’s roster they want to keep and which they want to let hit the open market, as well as scouring the draft-eligible lists for players they’d like to add to the mix in late April. Teams can negotiate with free agents for just over 48 hours before they’re allowed to officially sign contracts, but we have seen in recent seasons that a lot of negotiating actually gets done at the combine and the days leading up to the so-called “legal tampering” period. 
We’re likely to get some news from the competition committee after these meetings in Arizona, with some potential new rules and/or tweaks to existing rules at that time. In the weeks following those meetings, teams will begin organized team activities (OTAs) with their returning players, new signees and anyone else they want to invite in for a tryout prior to the NFL Draft
Restricted free agency is not all that common in the NFL, but there are certainly some notable players who could be subjected to offer sheets this spring. Meanwhile, the three-day NFL Draft event will take place this year in the home city of the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. There are only 31 first-round selections this year after the Miami Dolphins lost their pick as the result of a tampering investigation. 
Just a couple days after the draft, teams have to make a decision on whether or not to pick up the fifth-year options of players drafted back in 2020. (That decision has to be made prior to a player’s fourth season.) Beginning a few days after that, teams will bring in their rookies for minicamp practices. Sometime around mid-May, the NFL will release the 2023 schedule, and then there will be another league meeting in late May. 
Players designated with the franchise tag have until mid-July to negotiate a long-term deal with their teams or (if they are given the non-exclusive tag) sign elsewhere. If no long-term agreement is reached by then, they have to either play on the tag or sign a one-year deal for a different amount. A lot of times, players working on the tag choose not to attend training camp, which begins just a few days after the tag deadline. 
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