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Important dates coming up for Patriots, NFL

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  January 22, 2014 03:16 PM

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Here are some of the important dates for the Patriots and other NFL teams after the Super Bowl when the offseason fully gets underway.

(Note: This is not an all-inclusive list.)

Feb. 3

- Waivers begin for 2014.

Feb. 17

- Teams can start using the franchise and transition tags.

Feb. 19-25

- NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

March 3

- Deadline for teams to use franchise and transition tags by 4 p.m.

March 8

- Teams can begin negotiations with unrestricted free agents but cannot sign contracts until 4 p.m. March 11.

March 11

- 2013 player contracts expire at 4 p.m.

- 2014 league year and free agency period begins at 4 p.m.

- Teams must exercise 2014 option for all players with option clauses before 4 p.m.

- Also before 4 p.m., teams must submit qualifying offers to restricted free agents to retain right of first refusal as well as compensation.

- All teams must be under the 2014 salary cap before 4 p.m.

- Trading can begin at 4 p.m.

March 23-26

- Annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

April 7

- Teams with new head coaches may begin offseason workouts.

April 21

- Teams with returning head coaches may begin offseason workouts.

May 2

- Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.

May 7

- Deadline for teams to exercise right of first refusal on restricted free agents.

May 8-10

- NFL Draft in New York City.

May 19-21

- Spring league meeting in Atlanta.

July 15

- Deadline for teams to sign players that have the franchise tag to a multiyear contract. After 4 p.m., those players can only sign a one-year pact.

Mid-July

- Training camps open.

Sept. 4, 7-8

- Kickoff weekend.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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