LA Rams News: Important NFL dates for 2023 NFL Free agency market
By Bret Stuter
So you are wondering about the 2023 NFL season, but you don't know the important dates? Well, don't look now, but the LA Rams are just weeks away, three weeks away to be exact, from one of the most exciting periods in a calendar year for NFL teams and fans alike.
That's right, on March 15, 2023, and 1:00 pm PT, the 2023 NFL Free Agency market officially opens for business. While the LA Rams have not exactly been big shoppers for NFL free agents, the team has been somewhat active whenever the team's roster cannot support the attrition of multiple contributors from the same positional group. In 2022, the Rams were quick to sign three of their offensive linemen who faced expiring contracts.
This year, the Rams are projected to lose four defensive linemen, four offensive linemen, and seven defensive backs to free agency. Will the team extend any of these projected free agents? Well, if the LA Rams plan to do so, then the team will need to find a way to get under the 2023 NFL salary cap. When the 2023 NFL season begins, all teams must be under the 2023 NFL Salary cap. Right now, Spotrac.com has the LA Rams at nearly (-$16 million) over that cap. So the Rams will be earnest restructuring and or renegotiating player contracts in the next several weeks to get under the ceiling in time for the deadline. But if the team plans to extend any players, then the goal is to shed sufficient cap space to allow for that as well.
March 7 - Prior to 1:00 pm PT, the deadline for all NFL clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players. (Don't look for the LA Rams to do this)
March 7 - College Pro Days Begin. This means organized workouts of college/university's Pro-Day-eligible players. Any Pro Day activities outside of Pro Day events are prohibited. Private dinners, meetings, and interviews are permitted.
March 7 - April 19 - Draft-Eligible Facility Visits may begin. Clubs permitted up to 30 non-local players for physical exams/visits; no on-field workouts.
March 7 - April 26 - Video or telephone interviews with draft-eligible players begin. 3 video or telephone interviews per player; no interview of this nature may be longer than one hour in length.
March 13- 15 - Negotiation Period. Beginning at 9:00 am PT, on March 13 and ending at 12:59:59 pm PT on March 15, NFL clubs may contact and enter into contract negotiations with any certified agents or representatives of players who are scheduled to become Unrestricted Free Agents (UFAs) upon the expiration of their 2022 Player Contracts at 1:00 pm PT, on March 15.
During this 2-day negotiating period, a prospective UFA who is not represented by an NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor may communicate directly with a new club’s front office officials (but no member of the team's coaching staff) regarding contract negotiations. No Unrestricted Free Agent is may execute a contract with a new club until 1:00 pm PT on March 15.
But you know that as soon as both parties have reached an agreement, NFL insiders will flood social media with the news. Keep in mind that nothing is official until contracts are registered and filed with the NFL office.
March 15, 1:00 pm PT - End/Start of League Year. Prior to 1:00 pm PT, NFL teams must decide and commit to any open options for 2023 on all players who have option clauses in their 2022 contracts. Prior to 1:00 pm PT, NFL Teams must extend any and all Qualifying Offers to their Restricted Free Agents (RFAs) with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation. Before the 1:00 pm PT deadline, NFL teams must submit any Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2022 contracts who have fewer than three Accrued Seasons of free agency credit (ERFAs).
March 15, 1:00 pm PT - Top 51 Rule is in effect. All clubs must be under the 2023 Salary Cap prior to 1:00 pm PT. All 2022 NFL player contracts will expire at this time. The 2023 League Year and Free Agency period begins at 1:00 pm PT.
The list of pending LA Rams 2023 Free agents can be found here. Before free agency arrives, we will publish an LA Rams Free Agency tracker to keep you updated with all of the comings and goings of the LA Rams roster.
The first day of the 2023 League Year will end at 8:59:59 pm PT, on March 15. Clubs will receive a Personnel Notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 1:00 pm PT and 8:59:59 p.m., PT, on March 15.
March 15, 1:00 pm PT - Trading period for 2023. Trading begins at 1:00 pm PT, after the expiration of all 2022 contracts.
March 26-29 - Annual League Meeting (The Biltmore, Phoenix, AZ)
There are many more important dates to cover. But for now, that pretty must filles the March 2023 calendar and gives you an idea of just how close the upcoming NFL Free Agency market is. Stay tuned, because this year's LA Rams roster activities will be a wild and bumpy ride.