Important 2022 NFL Offseason Dates Fans Should Know originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Just because there aren’t any official NFL games until the start of the 2022 season in September doesn’t mean there aren’t critical dates on the calendar to keep an eye on.
With the OTAs beginning May 23, the upcoming organized offseason activities are designed to bring teams together, teach players the ins and outs of a playbook, and allow for meetings with coaches.
Though some offseason events have been canceled in recent years due to COVID-19, the NFL is attempting to regain some normality as restrictions continue to be lifted.
Here’s a list of upcoming key dates on the NFL calendar and events scheduled to take place during those time periods:
First session (23-26 May)
Second Session (31 May to 2 June)
Third Session (6-8 June)
Organized Team Activities (OTAs) take place between May and June over a total of 10 days. The volunteer program offers teams the opportunity to meet face-to-face and work together. The on-field workouts at OTAs do not include live contact workouts.
Obligatory mini camp: 14.-16. June
Unlike OTAs, mini-camps are required and intended to bring the entire team together to learn the playbook.
NFL Supplemental Draft: Early July (TBD)
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the NFL has stopped an extra draft for the past two offseasons and it’s not yet known if it will return. The 2019 NFL Supplemental Draft took place in early July. So if this year’s draft is successful, it’s likely to happen around the same time.
Franchise Day Deadline: July 15th
This deadline is a final chance for teams to sign long-term renewals for players they initially tagged as franchises. If the two parties don’t come to an agreement, the next opportunity won’t come until the end of the 2022 NFL season.
Training camp: mid-July (TBD)
The training camp takes place before the start of the preseason and gives teams about two weeks to get into competitive mode. The time split usually includes two exercises per day, drills, scrimmages, strength training sessions, and meetings with trainers.
Hall of Fame Game 2022 – August 4th
The Las Vegas Raiders take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Canton, Ohio for the 2022 NFL preseason opener. The Hall of Fame Game takes place Thursday, August 4 at 8 p.m. on NBC at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium and marks the start of the league’s 103rd season.
NFL Preseason: Early/Mid August (TBD)
The preseason is the last chance for teams to prepare for the game when participating in exhibition games before the official season begins. It gives teams a chance to play plays they want to make and work on on-field communication. Lineups will be completed with a maximum of 53 players on each team, plus a 14-person practice team.
Regular Season Start: September 8th
The NFL announced its 18-week, 272-game regular season schedule beginning Thursday, September 8 in Los Angeles and ending Sunday, January 8.
First game: The Los Angeles Rams host the Buffalo Bills Thursday, September 8 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC at SoFi Stadium.