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NFL's upcoming key dates for Packers

The offseason kicks into full gear in two weeks at the scouting combine


GREEN BAY – With the NFL Scouting Combine two weeks away, here is a brief look at some of the key dates the Packers are approaching on the offseason calendar.

Feb. 20: First day for clubs to designate franchise or transition players.

The Packers have nine unrestricted free agents, including safety Morgan Burnett, right guard Jahri Evans and cornerback Davon House. They haven't used the franchise tag since 2010 (Ryan Pickett). The last player to receive the transition tag was Bubba Franks in 2005.

Feb. 27-March 5: NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Ind.

The Packers will continue their draft preparation at the annual event at Lucas Oil Stadium, sitting down for interviews and doing medical checks with some of the 322 prospects in attendance.

March 6 (3 p.m. CT): Deadline to designate franchise or transition players

March 12-14: 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 2017 player contracts at 3 p.m. CT on March 14. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until that time.

March 14: Prior to 3 p.m. CT, clubs must submit qualifying offers to all restricted free agents to retain right of first refusal, and minimum salary tenders to exclusive rights free agents to retain player rights.

Inside linebacker Joe Thomas is a restricted free agent. The Packers also have a handful of exclusive rights free agents, including offensive lineman Justin McCray.

March 14: Free agency period and trading period begins at 3 p.m. CT.

March 25-28: Annual league meeting in Orlando, Fla.

April 16: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

April 26-28: The 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The Packers currently have eight draft choices. They could receive up to four more through the compensatory process, which will be announced sometime prior to the draft.

May 4-7 or 11-14: Clubs can begin to hold their post-draft, three-day rookie minicamp from Friday to Sunday or Saturday to Monday.

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