Although the official games are done, there is still no rest for the National Football League (NFL). In the following months, meetings will be held to create a new draft of eligible players. Moreover, this will give teams new opportunities to select good talent and add such to their roster.
Since this draft is seven rounds long, you can expect many revisions that will span months before the official kickoff game this September. In addition, you can even bet on the draft, just like you would on the games. So without further ado, here are the most important dates to look out for during the NFL offseason:
You may think the draft-making would start in late March, but it’s underway. Since March 7, teams have already been eyeing draft-eligible players. In addition, players range from those who completed four years of college football and first-year students who have been out of high school for three years (which is a granted special eligibility only given to 73 players.)
Physical exams and visits are also held in draft-eligible facilities. Not only this but three interviews are also given per player, with these interviews no longer than one hour via video conferencing or telephone.
Since these pre-draft actions have already started, you should also research the eligible players this season. Doing so urges you to participate in the preparations of the NFL, allowing you to participate in NFL draft betting as well. You could always review the College Pro Days and Collegiate Bowl or read through updated news outlets to see which pick wins your bets.
April 3 marks the opportunity for teams to strengthen their roster. During this day, offseason workout programs begin for those with a new Head Coach. You can expect teams such as the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers, and Indianapolis Colts to make it to the headlines.
Sean Payton will lead the Denver Broncos, a mastermind regarding offensive tackles and strategies. Moreover, although Payton is returning from his hiatus, he has plenty of time to prove himself once April kicks in.
The Denver Broncos head coach is the exact opposite of DeMeco Ryans, the Houston Texans’ head coach. Ryans are more well known as having a defensive mind, who had served as a leader who connects players with preparation.
Since the teams with new head coaches were already given time to shine, those with returning head coaches will begin their offseason workout programs on April 17. Additionally, this will be a critical period for teams to focus more on strength development and movement rather than specific skills in the sport.
April 19 is a note-worthy date since this marks the deadline for the 32 teams to allow the draft-eligible players to their facilities. Here, the players are timed and tested for a physical examination, and this is also where the interview happens. So, you can expect a lot of big headlines during this date as eligible players try to make it to the team roster.
On April 21, restricted free agents (RFA) must sign offer sheets. Restricted free agents have accumulated at least three years of NFL seasons and an expired contract. In addition, they can receive tenders (contracts) from my team who have matched their offer sheet from a previous team. This entails that the player can sign with any team, but their original team should atleast have a qualifying offer with the right of first refusal.
April 26 is the deadline for the original teams to exercise their Right of First Refusal to restricted free agents. Such an opportunity means that if the team doesn’t match the offer sheets of the RFA and no longer has plans to retain the player, they can exercise their right to refuse. This results in the RFA having eligibility to become an unrestricted free agent.
Since the teams have already conducted a visit for draft-eligible players in their facilities, April 27 allows teams to conduct these at any location. Players are subject to timed physical tests and video and phone interviews. Moreover, these processes are built to increase the competitiveness between teams by their chances to choose the best player available.
This 2023, the NFL draft is coming to Kansas City on April 27-29. Aside from the official games, the draft is one of the most significant and anticipated sporting events in the United States. It will be even more interesting as the iconic area around the National World War I Museum and Memorial will be the center of the spotlight.
In 1965, the draft was always held in New York City, but that changed in 2015 when it was first brought to Chicago. Since then, the draft has been circling and eyeing different cities nationwide, even landing virtually in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Next year, you can expect the draft to be in Detroit, Green Bay, or Washington, D.C.
The NFL fever never rests as drafting occurs once the season ends. Doing so lets you anticipate new talent to look out for and new opportunities for your favorite teams to make it to the top. So don’t forget these dates, and remember to participate in the NFL drafting yourself!