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Important dates for the 2023 Falcons offseason

What to know about upcoming pre-draft milestones, free agency, and the draft itself.

NFL: NFL Draft Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

We’re in the offseason, and while the stretch before free agency can seem a little dull at times, there are plenty of events on the league calendar worth paying attention to. While the Falcons get ready for re-signings, free agency, and the draft, there will be showcases for draft-eligible players, the Super Bowl, and even franchise tag intrigue, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Here’s a calendar you can bookmark to help you keep track of when important dates are coming up.

2023 offseason calendar

January 16: All college athletes declaring for the NFL Draft must do so by the end of this date, or will not be eligible

January 28: NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Pasadena, California. The first and perhaps least well-known of the post-college all-star bowls. Last year, future Falcon B.J. Baylor participated, as well as well-regarded young Lions pass rusher James Houston, so there are gems to be found there.

February 2: East-West Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas, Nevada, a more well known all-star bowl. In 2022, the Falcons saw undrafted free agents Nate Landman and Derrick Tangelo, plus summer UDFA roster hopeful Stanley Berryhill there. They also eventually signed fullback Clint Ratkovich and pass rusher David Anineh, who both appeared in the game.

February 4: The Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, a showcase for college seniors that has been a major showcase for prospects the Falcons have been interested in. Last year, the Falcons scooped up five players in the draft who were at the bowl, with another four draft picks in 2021. It’s safe to assume that if the Falcons show significant interest in a player at the Senior Bowl, which our own Kevin Knight and Aaron Freeman will be attending, then there’s a chance the team will draft that player.

February 5: Pro Bowl game in Las Vegas, Nevada.

February 12: Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona

February 21 - March 7: Teams can use the franchise tag. This isn’t a critically important deadline for the Falcons, who rarely use the tag, but will be a big deal for teams like the Ravens with big-name impending free agents like Lamar Jackson.

February 25: The HBCU Legacy Bowl, showcasing players from historically Black colleges and universities. The event kicked off last year and helped land 33 players on summer rosters in the NFL.

February 28 - March 6: The Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana, an annual series of interviews, drills, and more for top draft-eligible prospects.

March 7: The beginning of college pro days, which serve as a showcase for some of each school’s top draft prospects.

March 13 - March 15: From noon on the first day until 3:59 p.m. on March 15, teams can negotiate with impending free agents. In addition, all qualifying offers to in-house free agents have to be submitted by 3:59 p.m. In practice, what this means is that a number of big free agent deals will be announced before free agency even opens, and this year the Falcons ought to be in on that action.

At 4 p.m., the new league year officially begins, contracts can be made official, and trades that were agreed to in the previous couple of months can be made official as well.

March 26 - March 29: The annual league meetings in Phoenix, Arizona, where major changes to the NFL can be discussed.

April 27 - April 29: The NFL Draft, where the Falcons are set to have eight selections in 2023.

May 5 - May 8 or May 12 - May 15: Teams can schedule a three day rookie minicamp for either period; the Falcons will announce theirs sometime this spring.

Following these dates will be organized team activities, mandatory minicamp, the schedule release, and of course training camp and preseason, but all of that will be announced a little further down the line. For now, know that we’re not all that far away from the Falcons making moves and kicking off a critical offseason.