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Key 2021 NFL Offseason Dates

Important dates for free agency, the draft and other events

Big Red Air Raid Siren

The Cardinals placed the transition tag on running back Kenyan Drake a season ago. Will they use it again?

The window to apply a 2021 transition or franchise tag opened on Tuesday, kicking off the first key date of the 2021 offseason calendar. While the NFL Scouting combine is not taking place this season due to COVID-19, many of the business-related events remain in place.

Here is a look at the important dates this offseason, keeping in mind there can be fluidity because of the pandemic.

Feb. 23-March 9: The span in which teams can use the franchise or transition tag (but not both). GM Steve Keim said on 98.7 Arizona Sports FM that it was “possible” outside linebacker Haason Reddick could be tagged.

March 15-17: The legal tampering period in which teams can contact and negotiate with the agents of players who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.

March 17, 1 p.m. Arizona time: The new league year begins, kicking off the official start of free agency. Agreed-upon trades and signings can be announced.

April 19: Teams with returning head coaches can begin their offseason programs.

April 23: The final day for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.

April 29-May 1: The 2021 NFL draft in Cleveland, Ohio.