NFL offseason priorities for 2024: Key dates, storylines - ESPN
The 2023 NFL season has produced, in many ways, the same offseason transition as the 2022 campaign.
The Kansas City Chiefs are celebrating another Super Bowl championship, the Chicago Bears once again own the draft's No. 1 overall pick and the league's offseason agenda will feature some familiar issues: officiating, the kickoff, the hip-drop tackle and the potential for significant movement from veteran quarterbacks.
The Bears traded the top pick last year and now must decide whether to stay put and draft a quarterback — presumably USC's Caleb Williams — or trade out again and recommit to incumbent Justin Fields. Meanwhile, much like Aaron Rodgers in 2022, the Minnesota Vikings' Kirk Cousins holds the keys to a domino effect of quarterback decisions.
The league's competition committee is already at work looking for solutions that eluded their 2022 efforts. Can they find a way to ban the hip-drop tackle? Is there a better way to avoid concussions on kickoffs than simply limit the opportunity for returns? And are there any substantive ways to improve the league's officiating in the short and long terms?
There isn't much time for a post-Super Bowl breath. The NFL combine starts in two weeks. Let's take a closer look, starting with a review of the NFL's key dates over the next six months.
Feb. 20: First day to designate franchise and transition tags
Feb. 27-March 4: Scouting combine in Indianapolis
March 5 (4 p.m. ET): Franchise/transition tag deadline
March 11-13: Negotiating period for pending unrestricted free agents
March 14 (4 p.m. ET): Free agent deals can be signed, trades can be officially consummated, June 1 cuts can be designated and the deadline for qualifying offers to restricted free agents.
March 24-27: Annual