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2016 NFL League Calendar: Important Dates Including the Combine & Free Agency

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A look at the important dates for the 2016 offseason.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Now that we are in offseason mode in the NFL, it is appropriate to look at the important dates coming up on the league calendar, including dates related to the combine, free agency, and the NFL Draft.

NFL Scouting / Regional Combines

It might be the offseason, but that doesn't mean there is much downtime in terms of football discussion. From February 23rd - February 29th, 2016, the NFL Combine will take place in Indianapolis.

There are six regional combines that are being held, but it appears as though the league has eliminated the super regional and veteran combines this year.

The regional combines are smaller combines for players who did not receive invites to the main combine. Players pay to participate, and then scouts run them through the drills. Afterwards, a video of the player, as well as all the normal measurables taken at a combine, are shared with all of the teams. Players who have been out of the league trying to get back in can also have a workout there. The media typically does not cover these smaller combines, but it's interesting to know about them, nonetheless.

Date Location Facility
February 13 Houston
Methodist Training Center
February 20 Arizona Cardinals Training Facility
February 23-29 Indianapolis Lucas Oil Stadium (NFL COMBINE)
February 27 Baltimore Under Armour Performance Center
March 5
Minnesota Winter Park
March 12-13 New Orleans
Saints Training Complex

It costs $150 to register for a regional combine. The program has provided some more exposure to low-level prospects. Over a Locker Report, they summarize which offensive, defensive, and special teams prospects from these regional combines made a splash in the NFL:

Franchise Tag, Free Agency, and NFL Draft Dates

Here are some other important upcoming league dates (for the year 2016) to be aware of:

  • February 16th: Teams can begin applying the franchise or transition tag to players on their team.
  • March 1st: The final day to declare a franchise player, before 4:00 PM ET.
  • March 7th - March 9th: Teams can begin entering contract negotiations with players who will be unrestricted free agents. Qualifying offers to restricted free agents and offers to unrestricted free agents who the team wants to retain should also be made during this stretch.
  • March 9th: At 4:00 PM ET, free agency officially begins, and teams may begin signing players or trading players who are still under contract. Additionally, all teams must be under the salary cap at this time.
  • March 20th - March 23rd: Annual League Meeting, Boca Raton, FL
  • April 4th: Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2015 regular season may begin offseason workout programs. This includes the Browns. Teams with returning coaches begin April 18th.
  • April 28th - April 30th: NFL Draft, Chicago, IL
  • May 23rd - May 25th: NFL Spring League Meeting, Charlotte, NC