Vikings, NFL important dates

Posted Jan 14, 2009

A look at the key upcoming dates in the NFL calendar, including free agency and the draft.

Feb. 1: Super Bowl XLIII, Tampa Bay, Fla. (NBC)

Feb. 8: Pro Bowl, Honolulu, Hawaii (NBC)

Feb. 18-24: NFL Scouting Combine, Indianapolis, Ind.

Feb. 19: Deadline for clubs to designate franchise and transition players.

Feb. 26: Deadline for submission of qualifying offers by clubs to their restricted free agents whose contracts have expired and to whom they desire to retain a right of first refusal/compensation.

Feb. 26: Deadline for clubs to submit offer of minimum salary to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with fewer than three seasons of free agency credit whose contracts have expired.

Feb. 27: Veteran free agency signing period begins.

Feb. 27: Trading period begins.

March 22-25: NFL Annual (Owners) Meeting, Dana Point, Calif.

Mid-April: Vikings offseason training and conditioning program begins.

April 17: Signing period ends for restricted free agents.

April 24: Deadline for old club to exercise right of first refusal to restricted free agents.

April 25-26: NFL Draft, New York City.

Early to mid-May: Vikings organized team activities and minicamps begin.

May 18-20: NFL Spring Meeting, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

June 1: Deadline for old clubs to send tender to unsigned unrestricted free agents to receive exclusive negotiating rights for rest of season if player is not signed by another club by July 22.

June 1: Deadline for old clubs to send tender to unsigned restricted free agents or to extend qualifying offer to retain exclusive negotiating rights.

June 15: Deadline for old clubs to withdraw original qualifying offer to unsigned restricted free agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting tender of 110 percent of previous year’s salary.

June 28-July 1: NFL Rookie Symposium, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Mid- to late July: Training camps open.

July 22: Signing period ends at 3 p.m. Central for unrestricted free agents who received June 1 tender.

Aug. 9: Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, Canton, Ohio.

Aug. 13-17: First preseason weekend.

Sept. 1: Roster cutdown to maximum of 75 players.

Sept. 5: Roster cutdown to maximum of 53 players.

Sept. 10-14: Kickoff 2009 weekend.

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