Updated March 23, 2023

When Does the NFL Season Start

Super Bowl 57 between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles represented the end of the 2022 NFL season. It was the pinnacle moment of the year, and the game lived up to expectations as quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs came through with a 38-35 victory over a very worthy opponents.

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The two best teams fought it out for the Lombardi Trophy, and that was the conclusion of the last season.

The 2023 season will soon be at hand. There are an array of off-season and regular-season dates worth noting. In this piece, we will look at information and key dates leading to the start of the upcoming season.

Related: NFL Live Movement Guide

When Will the 2023 NFL Schedule Be Released?

The NFL has not yet said when they will release the 2023 NFL schedule. In recent seasons, the NFL schedule has released the schedule during the first two weeks of May. The schedule has never been released later than May 12.

When Does the 2023 NFL Football Season Start?

The first preseason game of the 2023 NFL season is the Hall of Fame Game on Friday, Aug. 4. However, the actual 2023 NFL regular season kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 7. The Super Bowl winner usually hosts the opening game, so it can be expected the Chiefs will play a notable opponent. It could be a rematch against the Eagles or a battle with the Buffalo Bills. Both of those teams are on Kansas City’s official list of opponents.

The 2023 season will conclude on Feb. 11, 2024, with Super Bowl 58. That championship game will be held at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. It’s the first time the Super Bowl will be played in Las Vegas.

Team-By-Team Opponents

Although we do not know what the schedule looks like, the NFL has released every team’s opponents for next season.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Home: Patriots, Dolphins, Jets, Broncos, Raiders, Cowboys, Giants, Buccaneers, Jaguars

Away: Patriots, Dolphins, Jets, Commanders, Chiefs, Chargers, Eagles, Bengals

Miami Dolphins

Home: Bills, Patriots, Jets, Broncos, Raiders, Cowboys, Giants, Titans, Panthers

Away: Bills, Patriots, Jets, Chiefs, Chargers, Eagles, Commanders, Ravens

New England Patriots

Home: Chiefs, Chargers, Eagles, Commanders, Colts, Saints, Bills, Dolphins, Jets

Away: Broncos, Raiders, Cowboys, Giants, Steelers, Bills, Dolphins, Jets

New York Jets

Home: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, Chiefs, Chargers, Eagles, Commanders, Texans, Falcons

Away: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, Broncos, Raiders, Cowboys, Giants, Browns

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

Home: Browns, Steelers, Bengals, Texans, Colts, Seahawks, Rams, Dolphins, Lions

Away: Browns, Steelers, Bengals, Titans, Jaguars, Chargers, Cardinals, 49ers

Cincinnati Bengals

Home: Ravens, Browns, Steelers, Texans, Colts, Rams, Seahawks, Vikings, Bills

Away: Ravens, Browns, Steelers, Cardinals, Jaguars, 49ers, Titans, Chiefs

Cleveland Browns

Home: Steelers, Ravens, Bengals, Jaguars, Titans, Cardinals, 49ers, Jets, Bears

Away: Steelers, Ravens, Bengals, Texans, Colts, Rams, Seahawks, Broncos

Pittsburgh Steelers

Home: Ravens, Browns, Bengals, Jaguars, Titans, Cardinals, 49ers, Patriots, Packers

Away: Ravens, Browns, Bengals, Texans, Colts, Rams, Raiders, Seahawks

AFC South

Houston Texans

Home: Colts, Jaguars, Titans, Browns, Steelers, Saints, Buccaneers, Broncos, Cardinals

Away: Colts, Jaguars, Titans, Bengals, Falcons, Ravens, Panthers, Jets

Indianapolis Colts

Home: Texans, Jaguars, Titans, Browns, Steelers, Saints, Buccaneers, Raiders, Rams

Away: Texans, Jaguars, Titans, Ravens, Bengals, Falcons, Panthers, Patriots

Jacksonville Jaguars

Home: Colts, Texans, Titans, Bengals, Ravens, Falcons, Panthers, Chiefs, 49ers

Away: Colts, Texans, Titans, Browns, Steelers, Saints, Bucs, Bills

Tennessee Titans

Home: Colts, Texans, Jaguars, Ravens, Bengals, Falcons, Panthers, Seahawks, Chargers

Away: Texans, Colts, Jaguars, Browns, Saints, Steelers, Buccaneers, Dolphins

AFC West

Denver Broncos

Home: Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders, Patriots, Jets, Packers, Vikings, Browns, Commanders

Away: Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders, Bills, Dolphins, Bears, Lions, Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Home: Broncos, Raiders, Chargers, Bills, Bengals, Dolphins, Bears, Lions, Eagles

Away: Broncos, Raiders, Chargers, Jaguars, Patriots, Jets, Packers, Vikings

Las Vegas Raiders

Home: Chiefs, Chargers, Broncos, Patriots, Jets, Packers, Vikings, Steelers, Giants

Away: Chiefs, Chargers, Broncos, Bears, Lions, Dolphins, Bills, Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

Home: Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, Bills, Bears, Lions, Dolphins, Ravens, Cowboys

Away: Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, Patriots, Jets, Packers, Vikings, Titans

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Home: Rams, Seahawks, Patriots, Jets, Eagles, Giants, Commanders, Lions

Away: Cardinals, Bills, Panthers, Chargers, Dolphins, 49ers, Eagles, Giants, Commanders

New York Giants

Home: Cowboys, Commanders, Eagles, Rams, Seahawks, Patriots, Jets, Packer

Away: Cowboys, Commanders, Eagles, Cardinals, 49ers, Bills, Dolphins, Raiders, Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Home: Cowboys, Giants, Commanders, Cardinals, Bills, 49ers, Dolphins, Vikings

Away: Cowboys, Commanders, Giants, Patriots, Rams, Jets, Bucs, Seahawks, Chiefs

Washington Commanders

Home: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Cardinals, 49ers, Bills, Dolphins, Bears

Away: Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Rams, Patriots, Jets, Seahawks, Broncos, Falcons

NFC North

Chicago Bears

Home: Lions, Packers, Vikings, Falcons, Panthers, Broncos, Raiders, Cardinals

Away: Lions, Packers, Vikings, Chiefs, Chargers, Saints, Bucs, Commanders, Cleveland

Detroit Lions

Home: Bears, Packers, Vikings, Falcons, Panthers, Broncos, Raiders, Seahawks

Away: Bears, Packers, Vikings, Chiefs, Chargers, Saints, Buccaneers, Cowboys, Ravens

Green Bay Packers

Home: Bears, Lions, Vikings, Saints, Chiefs, Chargers, Rams

Away: Bears, Lions, Vikings, Raiders, Falcons, Panthers, Broncos, Lions, Giants, Steelers

Minnesota Vikings

Home: Bears, Lions, Packers, Saints, Buccaneers, Chiefs, Chargers, 49ers

Away: Bears, Lions, Packers, Falcons, Panthers, Broncos, Raiders, Bengals, Eagles

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

Home: Packers, Vikings, Texans, Colts, Commanders, Panthers, Saints, Buccaneers

Away: Bears, Lions, Jaguars, Titans, Jets, Cardinals, Panthers, Saints, Buccaneers

Carolina Panthers

Home: Falcons, Saints, Buccaneers, Packers, Vikings, Texans, Colts, Cowboys

Away: Falcons, Bears, Lions, Jaguars, Saints, Buccaneers, Titans, Seahawks, Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

Home: Falcons, Buccaneers, Panthers, Bears, Lions, Jaguars, Titans, Giants

Away: Falcons, Buccaneers, Panthers, Packers, Texans, Colts, Vikings, Rams, Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Home: Falcons, Panthers, Saints, Bears, Lions, Jaguars, Titans, Eagles

Away: Falcons, Panthers, Saints, Packers, Vikings, Texans, Colts, 49ers, Bills

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

Home: Cowboys, Giants, Ravens, Bengals, Falcons, Rams, 49ers, Seahawks

Away: Commanders, Steelers, Browns, Eagles, Bears, Texans, Rams, 49ers, Seahawks

Los Angeles Rams

Home: 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks, Eagles, Commanders, Saints, Browns, Steelers

Away: 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks, Cowboys, Giants, Packers, Ravens, Bengals, Colts

San Francisco 49ers

Home: Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks, Cowboys, Giants, Bengals, Ravens, Buccaneers

Away: Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks, Commanders, Eagles, Steelers, Browns, Vikings, Jaguars

Seattle Seahawks

Home: Cardinals, Rams, 49ers, Eagles, Browns, Steelers, Commanders, Panthers

Away: Cardinals, Rams, 49ers, Bengals, Ravens, Cowboys, Giants, Lions, Titans

Offseason priorities for team management

The start of the offseason is when teams make judgments about their own players, deciding which players from the previous year’s roster they want to keep and which they want to let hit the open market.

While that is going on, teams are studying the rosters of opposing teams and deciding which ones could be helpful. Teams can negotiate with free agents for just over 48 hours before they're allowed to officially sign contracts, but negotiations actually take place at the Scouting Combine and in the days leading up to  the "legal tampering" period. 

They also study the draft-eligible lists for players they'd like to the league’s annual selection meeting in late April. This is an ongoing process that lasts through the year. Scouts follow college players from the start of the season and make evaluations throughout the year. As the draft approaches, final opinions are delivered to the general manager, and conclusions are drawn.

Important NFL Offseason Dates

Feb. 21-March 7: Franchise/transition player designation period.

Feb. 28-March 6: NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. In the past, this was one of the most important pre-draft activities for the league. Selected draft-eligible players come to the Combine where they are evaluated physically, mentally and emotionally. Many of the evaluations are grueling and monotonous to the players, and changes have been made to make the Combine less intrusive to the players.

March 7: College pro days begin. These evaluations allow players to stay on their home turf rather than travel to Indianapolis. Players show off their physical skills, have interviews and go over any questions they have for the teams that are evaluating them.

March 7: Prior to 4 p.m., Eastern time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players. 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. In many cases, players who have been tagged choose not to attend training camp, which begins just a few days after the tag deadline.

March 13-15: During the period beginning at 12:00 noon, Eastern time, on March 14 and ending at 3:59:59 p.m., Eastern time, on March 16, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2022 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., Eastern time, on March 15.

March 15: The 2023 League Year and Free Agency period begins at 4 p.m., Eastern time.

April 3: Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2022 regular season, like the Denver Broncos, may begin offseason workout programs.

April 17: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs, which will include 10 Organized Training Activities (OTA) days and one mandatory minicamp.

April 27: Deadline for clubs to time, test, visit, interview (including video and phone calls), or conduct a physical examination with a draft-eligible player at any location.

April 27-29: 2023 NFL Draft, in Kansas City, Missouri.

May 1: Fifth-year option deadline. Two 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 is made prior to a player's fourth season.

May 5-8 or May 12-15: Rookie minicamp

Mid-May: NFL schedule release show

May 22-24: Spring league meeting (date TBD)

Mid-July: Franchise tag contract negotiation deadline

Late July: Training camps open

September 7: NFL regular season starts with Opening Night game

September 10: Week 1 Full Schedule

January 13, 2024: NFL playoffs begin

February 11, 2024: Super Bowl 58, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada

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