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NFL Important Dates for 2016

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the National Football League being a year-round sport now, it's important that we have something to help us remember what the biggest dates on the calendar are. This post will serve to list all of the big events that will take place between now and the end of May. Here are all the main ones for your reading pleasure and future reference.

17 January - Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that won their Wild Card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of Divisional Playoff games.

18 January - Deadline for college players that are underclassmen to apply for special eligibility. A list of players who are accepted into the NFL Draft will be transmitted to clubs on 22 January.

23 January - East-West Shrine Game, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida.

24 January - AFC and NFC Championship Games.

30 January - Senior Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama.

31 January - NFL Pro Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawai'i.

31 January - An assistant coach, whose team is participating in the Super Bowl, who has previously interviewed for another club's head coaching job may have a second interview with such club no later than the Sunday preceding the Super Bowl.

7 February - Super Bowl 50, Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California.

16 February - First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

23-29 February - Combine Timing and Testing, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.

7 March - Prior to 3:00 p.m. Central time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

6-9 March - Beginning at 11 AM Central time, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2015 player contracts at 3:00 p.m. Central time, on 9 March. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 3:00 p.m. Central time, on 9 March.

9 March - The 2016 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 3:00 p.m. Central time.

9 March - The first day of the 2016 League Year will end at 10:59:59 p.m., Central time, on 9 March. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 3:00 p.m. Central time, and 10:59:59 p.m., Central time, on 9 March.

9 March - Trading period for 2016 begins at 3:00 p.m. Central time, after expiration of all 2015 contracts.

20-23 March - Annual League Meeting, Boca Raton, Florida.

4 April - Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2015 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.

18 April - Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

22 April - Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.

27 April - Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.

28-30 April - NFL Draft, Chicago, IL.

23-25 May - Spring League Meeting, Charlotte, NC.

The schedule for the 2016-17 NFL season will likely be announced in the week prior to the 2016 NFL Draft. That's when they've done that over the past few years, anyway.

That's a complete list of major offseason events in the NFL, folks. Hopefully this will answer some questions for people that might have been wondering about when things might be happening with the Minnesota Vikings.