With Super Bowl 58 now over, the 2023 NFL season has come to an end. But there is already plenty to look forward to on the 2024 calendar. Here are some key dates and events that will be taking place in the coming months around the National Football League.
February 20 to March 5: Tagging Transition and Franchise Players
Teams can begin using transition or franchise tags on potential free agents. Two Patriots players most considered for these designations are offensive lineman Mike Onwenu and safety Kyle Dugger. There are several potential free agents elsewhere that the Patriots will be monitoring as well. A projected value for each position can be found here: Franchise, Transition, and RFA Tenders. This window closes at 4:00 ET on March 5.
February 27 – March 4: NFL Scouting Combine
Indianapolis will play host to NFL Draft prospects begin measured, weighed, timed, and tested at the annual week-long event. There will be some top prospects skipping the Combine, while others only participate in a limited fashion. Top quarterbacks in particular often opt to throw at their college’s Pro Day or in individual workouts. There will be plenty to evaluate and analyze (and overanalyze) when it is through.
March 11 – March 13; Legal Tampering Period
Franchises can contact and negotiate with prospective free agents. Players need to wait until free agency opens to sign the actual contract. This 52-hour window begins at noon (ET) on March 11.
March 13: 2024 NFL Year Begins
While the unofficial 2024 NFL begins as soon as the Super Bowl ends, the official league year does not begin until 4:00 PM ET on March 13. Free agency officially opens as soon as the new year begins. Due to the 52-hour negotiating window leading up to it, there should be immediate action.
March 24 – March 27: Annual League Meeting
The two major things that usually surface at the annual meetings are rule changes and an annual photo of the NFL head coaches. For the first time in 25 years, the New England Patriots will have a new face in the coaches’ photo.
April 1: Offseason Workout Programs Begins
The New England Patriots and all other NFL teams with a new head coach can begin their offseason workout programs on April 1. Teams with returning head coaches need to wait an additional two weeks. (note to strength and conditioning staff: feels like an excellent opportunity to pull off a good April Fools prank)
April 19: Restricted Free Agent Deadline
This is the last day that a restricted free agent (RFA) can sign an offer sheet with another franchise. Their original franchise is allowed to match any offer sheet up until April 24.
April 25 – April 27: 2024 NFL Draft
The three-day event will feature Round 1 on Thursday, Rounds 2-3 on Friday, and Rounds 4-7 on Saturday. There is a lot of excitement surrounding the New England Patriots selection this season, as they are scheduled to have the No. 3 overall pick. If not traded, it would be New England’s highest draft pick since they took Washington State QB Drew Bledsoe with the No. 1 pick in the 1993 NFL Draft.
May 3 – May 6 or May 10 – May 13: Rookie Minicamp
Franchises select either four-day period to conduct their rookie minicamp after the NFL Draft. It is an opportunity for drafted and undrafted rookies alike to make a positive first impression on their new franchise. The New England Patriots have held their minicamp on the later dates in previous seasons, but their plan for 2024 is not yet known.
May 8 (approximate) – 2024 NFL Schedule Release
Based on recent years, it appears this is around the time the NFL schedules for 2024 will be announced. This will be updated as information becomes available.
June 12 – Tom Brady’s Patriots Hall of Fame Ceremony
Tom Brady will receive his red jacket in a ceremony held at Gillette Stadium. It will be an opportunity for New England Patriots fans to once again show their appreciation for the man who helped bring six Super Bowl championships to Foxboro.
July 19 (approximate): Training Camps Open
Training camps begin for NFL rookies. There will be a mandatory reporting date set for veterans. Rookies can begin seven days before the veteran date. Quarterbacks and players returning from injury are allowed to report five days before other veterans’ mandatory report date. This will be updated as information becomes available.
August 1: Pro Football Hall of Fame Game
The NFL preseason schedule gets underway with the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The enshrinement ceremony for the Class of 2024 will take place on August 3.
September 5 – September 9: NFL Kickoff Weekend
Opening kickoff for the 2024 NFL season. Everyone gets to start over at 0-0-0.