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2016 NFL Offseason Calendar: Important dates for Free Agency and NFL Draft

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Here's a brief refresher on the main deadlines and events coming up on the NFL's calendar.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL's offseason is underway, and one of the first dates on the league calendar for dealing with free agents is almost upon us. Although there are still a few weeks until the opening of free agency, the league's calendar is chock-full of important events and deadlines, starting with the opening of Franchise and Transition tagging.

Here is a rundown of the critical events on the league schedule in the coming months. Of course, these events focus primarily on player acquisition and development, with free agency, the NFL Draft, and rookie camps covering the bulk of the dates.

Date Event Location
Feb. 13 NFL Regional Combine Houston, TX
Feb. 16 First day for NFL teams to designate Franchise/Transition players
Feb. 20 NFL Regional Combine Phoenix, AZ
Feb. 23-Feb. 29 NFL Scouting Combine Indianapolis, IN
Mar. 1 Deadline to designate Franchise/Transition players (4:00 PM ET)
Mar. 5 NFL Regional Combine Eden Prairie, MN
Mar. 7-Mar. 9 Teams may contact and negotiate with agents of Unrestricted Free Agents
Mar. 9 Deadline for teams to submit qualifying offers to Restricted Free Agents (4:00 PM ET)
Mar. 9 Unrestricted Free Agency begins (4:00 PM ET)
Mar. 9 Top 51 rule begins; teams must be under the 2016 salary cap (4:00 PM ET)
Mar. 12 NFL Regional Combine Metairie, LA
Mar. 20-Mar. 23 NFL Annual Meeting Boca Raton, FL
Apr. 4 Teams with new head coaches may begin offseason programs Team facilities
Apr. 18 Teams with returning head coaches may begin offseason programs Team facilities
Apr. 28-Apr. 30 2016 NFL Draft Chicago, IL
May 6-May 9 First weekend for Rookie Minicamps Team Facilities
May 13-May 16 Second weekend for Rookie Minicamps Team Facilities
May 23-May 25 NFL Spring Meeting Charlotte, NC
June 19-June 25 Rookie Symposium Aurora, OH
July 15 Deadline for teams to sign Franchise-tagged players to long-term contracts (4:00 PM ET)