The Detroit Lions will wrap up their 2022 organized team activities (OTAs) on Thursday and players/coaches will take a short stint away from Allen Park before returning at the end of July for training camp.
Things move quickly once training camp arrives, so we collected a series of important dates that Lions fans will want to mark on their calendars for the upcoming 2022-23 season. Some dates will be Lions-focused, while others take a broader NFL perspective, as they impact the entire league.
Let’s get started.
June 16: Lions’ 10th and final OTA practice of the 2022 offseason.
July 15 (4:00 p.m. ET): Deadline for teams to sign their Franchise Players to multi-year contracts or extensions. The Lions do not have any players who fall into this category.
Mid-July: Teams are permitted to open preseason training camps for rookies. For the Lions, this is expected to be sometime between the week of July 18 and July 26 in 2022. Veteran quarterbacks and injured players can also report ahead of training camp during this timeframe.
July 22 (4:00 p.m., ET): Deadline for teams to sign their Transition Players and players with UFA Tenders. The Lions do not have any players who fall into this category.
August 9: Any drafted rookie who fails to reach a contract agreement with their team is no longer eligible to be traded during the season and can only sign with their drafted team until the first day of the 2023 draft. The Lions' only draft pick that remains unsigned at the time of this publishing is second-round pick Josh Paschal.
Furthermore, the HBO series “Hard Knocks” featuring the Lions premieres its first episode on this date, and a new episode will appear each of the following Tuesdays for the next five weeks, with the final episode being September 6th.
August 12: Lions’ first preseason game, hosting the Atlanta Falcons at 6:00 p.m. ET. The rest of the NFL preseason games begin this weekend, with all teams playing games between August 11 and 14. The Lions game will air nationally on NFL Network.
August 16: (4:00 p.m. ET): First roster cut-down day. Teams must reduce their 90-man rosters to 85 players before the scheduled time.
August 20: Lions’ second preseason game, at the Indianapolis Colts at 1:00 p.m. ET. Other NFL preseason games happening this weekend, will occur between August 18 and 22.
August 23: (4:00 p.m. ET): Second roster cut-down day. Teams must reduce their 85-man rosters to 80 players before the scheduled time. Additionally, any players who were placed on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) or NFI (Non-Football Injury) lists are eligible to be designated to such lists with regular-season implications. For example, if Romeo Okwara is on the PUP at this time, the Lions could move him from the preseason PUP to the regular-season PUP and open up a roster spot, with the caveat that he would not be eligible to play for the first four weeks of the regular season.
August 28: Lions’ third and final preseason game, at the Pittsburgh Steelers at 4:30 p.m. ET. Other NFL preseason games happening this weekend, will occur between August 25 and 28.
August 30: (4:00 p.m. ET): Final roster cut-down day. Teams must reduce their 80-man roster to 53 players.
Additionally, teams with players still on the preseason PUP or NFI lists must either place players on such lists with regular-season implications (not eligible to play for the first four weeks of the regulars season), trade or release them from their contracts, or the player will count towards the 53-player allotment.
August 31 (12:00 p.m. ET): Claiming period for players placed on waivers at final cut-downs expires. At this time, waiver priority is based on the 2022 NFL draft order, meaning the Lions will hold the second priority (Jaguars will hold first priority) in the waiver system. For reference, see Lions awarded John Cominsky despite eight teams putting in waiver claims.
Additionally, teams may begin establishing their 16-player practice squads.
August 31 (4:00 p.m. ET): Teams are now eligible to place players on IR (Injured Reserve) or NFI lists with the eligibility to return later in the season (they must sit out at least four games, per new agreed-upon rules).
September 4: Final day of preseason training camp. All teams must begin regular-season schedules and adhere to CBA guidelines.
September 7: The Lions are now required to submit Practice (Injury) Reports via the NFL Communications department. They will do this three times each game week, typically on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday ahead of each Sunday game. The two exceptions are Thanksgiving week (Thursday game) requiring reports on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, as well as Week 16 requiring reports on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, as they play the Carolina Panthers on Saturday, December 24. Injury designations will be declared via the third report of each game week.
September 27: Waiver priority system changes from the 2022 draft order (Lions No. 2) to match the current NFL standings. Meaning the team with the worst record will hold the highest priority.
October 3: Any player placed on the Lions’ IR, NFI, or PUP list at the beginning of the regular season, is now eligible to begin practicing. Once activated to practice, a 21-day evaluation window begins for the Lions to assess the injury status of such players and during this timeframe, players do not count towards the Lions’ 53-man roster and are not able to play in games. At any time during this window, players are eligible to be placed on the active roster, and once they are, they will count towards the 53-man allotment and can now play in games.
October 18-19: Fall League Meeting in New York.
November 1 (4:00 p.m. ET): NFL trade deadline for the 2022 season.
November 2: Vested veterans (players with at least four years of accrued seasons) are now subject to the NFL waiver system through the Super Bowl.
December 13-14: Special League Meetings in Texas.
January 8, 2023: Lions' final game of the regular season. A Week 18 matchup in Green Bay versus the Packers.
January 9: NFL teams can now sign free agent players for the 2023 season. Additionally, teams are now eligible to negotiate with players drafted in 2020 or undrafted in 2021 that are still playing on their rookie contracts. This includes the ability to exercise a Fifth-Year option on players drafted in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft—for the Lions, this is Jeff Okudah.
January 14-16: Wild Card Playoff weekend.
January 16: Deadline for underclassmen to apply to enter the 2023 NFL Draft.
January 20: NFL teams will be informed of the underclassmen deemed eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft.
January 21-22: Divisional Playoffs.
January 29: Conference Championship Games.
February 12: Super Bowl LVII.
February 21 (4:00 p.m. ET): Teams may designate Franchise or Transition Players.
February 28-March 6: NFL Scouting Combine. Events will be televised March 3-6.
March 7 (4:00 p.m. ET): Deadline for Franchise or Transition designations.
March 13 (12:00 p.m. ET): NFL free agency tampering period begins.
March 15 (4:00 p.m. ET): 2023 league new year begins. Additionally, NFL free agency and trading periods open.
March 26-29: Annual League (Owner’s) Meetings.
April 17: Teams with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
April 19: Deadline for clubs to host Top 30 visits with draft eligible players.
April 21: Deadline for restricted free agents (RFA) to sign offer sheets.
April 27: Day 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft
April 28: Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft
April 29: Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft
May 1: Deadline for teams to exercise fifth-year options (Okudah).
May 5-8 or May 12-15: Teams allocate a three-day period for Rookie Minicamp. For reference, the Lions picked the latter of the eligible dates in 2022.
May 22-24: Spring League Meeting.
End-May: Organized team activities (OTAs) may begin. Teams are allotted 10 voluntary, non-contact practices to take place over a four-week period.
Early-June: Mandatory minicamp. This typically occurs after the first two weeks of OTAs and is followed by the final week of OTAs.