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Important NFL Offseason Dates in 2014

Even though one game remains for the 2013 season, the rest of the NFL has entered the offseason. Let's take a look at a handful of dates that you need to be aware of from now until the regular season.

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February 3: Waiver system begins for 2014. A 24-hour claiming period will be in effect through the Friday prior to the last regular season game (waivers requests made on Friday and Saturday of each week will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the following Monday.) Players with at least four previous pension-credited seasons whom a club desires to terminate are not subject to the waiver system until after the trading deadline.

February 17: First day that teams are allowed to designate Franchise or Transition players. Franchise and Transition tag numbers should be released prior to the start. There's only a two-week window before the deadline for tagging players.

February 19-25: The 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.

March 3: Deadline for teams to designate Franchise or Transition players, prior to 4 p.m (ET).

March 8-11: Teams are allowed to contact and enter into negotiations with agents of players that will become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2013 contracts on March 11 at 4 p.m (ET). A contract can NOT be executed until after 4 p.m (ET) on March 11.

March 11: At 4 p.m (ET), the 2014 league year begins. All player contracts for the year 2013 expire. Unrestricted free agents are allowed to sign with new clubs. Clubs must exercise options for 2014 on all players with option clauses in their 2013 contracts prior to 4 p.m (ET). Top-51 begins, meaning that all clubs must be under the 2014 salary cap prior to 4 p.m (ET).

March 11: Trading period for 2014 begins at 4 p.m (ET), after the expiration of all 2013 contracts.

March 23-26: Annual league meeting in Orlando, Florida.

April 7: Teams that hired new head coaches after the end of the 2013 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.

April 21: Teams with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

May 2: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets with a new club.

May 7: Deadline for Prior Clubs to exercise their right of first refusal for restricted free agents, who signed an offer sheet with a new club.

May 8-10: NFL Draft in New York city.

May 19-21: NFL Spring league meetings in Atlanta, Georgia.

June 16: Deadline for a club to withdraw a qualifying offer to restricted free agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by submitting a June 15 Tender -- a one-year deal at 110 percent of the player's prior-year salary.

June 22-28: NFL rookie symposium in Aurora, Ohio.

July 15: Deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign that player to a multi-year contract or extension. After this date, the player can not be signed beyond that team's last regular season game.

Mid-July: Clubs are allowed to open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players beginning seven days prior to the club's earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for veterans. Veteran players may report to training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the club's scheduled regular season game, or July 15, whichever is later.