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Arizona Cardinals offseason dates to know

With the NFL offseason in full swing, there are some dates to know.

NFL: 2016 NFL Draft Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

It is time for the NFL offseason to truly start.

The NFL Combine starts this week, and we have a plethora of important dates to know moving forward.

If you have questions on dates up and to the 2017 NFL Draft, this thread will be pinned on the first page and you can find it.

Then, after the NFL Draft, it will be updated with more information.

I borrowed this layout and information from Acme Packing Co and their phenomenal team, so thanks to Tex and company.

You can see the entire offseason schedule on their site, plus some more information on regional combines.

February 28 - March 6: NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN

March 1: (4:00 PM ET) Deadline for teams to designate Franchise or Transition players

March 7 - March 9: “Legal Tampering Period,” NFL teams may begin contract negotiations with the agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents

March 9

Prior to 4:00 PM ET

  • NFL teams must exercise options for 2017 on any player with option clauses in their 2016 contracts
  • NFL teams must submit qualifying offers to players with expiring contracts who will become Restricted Free Agents to ensure team has Compensation or Right of First Refusal
  • NFL teams must submit a Minimum Salary Tender to players who will become Exclusive-Rights Free Agents (expiring contracts and fewer than 3 accrued seasons)

4:00 PM ET

  • All 2016 player contracts expire
  • 2017 NFL league year and free agency begin
  • Top-51 salary cap rule begins - only the 51 highest cap hits for each NFL team apply to the salary cap through the offseason
  • All teams must be under the salary cap for 2017
  • Trades are allowed for 2017

March 26-29: Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, AZ

April 3: NFL teams who hired new head coaches may begin offseason workout programs

April 17: NFL teams with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs

April 21: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets

April 27-29: 2017 NFL Draft, Philadelphia, PA

May 5-8: Rookie Minicamp weekend #1 - NFL teams may conduct a three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp (either Friday-Sunday or Saturday-Monday) for rookies and first-year players