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Important NFL Offseason Dates

With the offseason here for the Colts, a look at some important dates to remember over the next few months.

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INDIANAPOLIS – No matter how you slice it, the Indianapolis Colts are embarking on a pivotal few months for their franchise.

While hiring a head coach is priority No. 1 on Chris Ballard’s to-do list, several other items deserve a closer examination.

Here is a look at some important dates for the Colts and the rest of the NFL:

January 27: Senior Bowl, Mobile, Alabama: Will the Colts have a head coach in place when the league convenes at this All-Star game? Even if they don’t, this game and week of practice is an important scouting event for some of the higher end draft prospects. The Houston and Denver staffs will coach the respective Senior Bowl teams.

February 4: Super Bowl LII, Minneapolis, Minnesota: The Super Bowl is heading to the home of the Vikings in a few weeks. Of course, the Vikings will begin their own quest on Sunday to become the first 'home' Super Bowl team in league history. The next 4 Super Bowl sites: Atlanta, Miami, Tampa, Los Angeles.

February 27-March 5: NFL Scouting Combine, Indianapolis, Indiana: Once again, the NFL Combine will descend upon the Circle City. We will hear from Chris Ballard and the new Colts head coach at this event. That’s news, but the major pull for this event will be having the NFL’s premier draft prospects in town for precise dissecting by teams around the league.

March 12: Legal Tampering Begins: It’s a later free agency this year in the NFL. So the 48-hour legal tampering period begins on Monday, March 12. During these two days, teams can contact the agents of upcoming free agents. Deals are often agreed to during this period, although NFL rules mandate those contracts cannot be official until…

March 14: Free Agency Begins: On Wednesday, the 14th, the new league year begins. Free agents will fly off the board and the Colts are in position to be a big spender. Last year, Chris Ballard wasted little time in signing the likes of Jabaal Sheard and John Simon.

March 25-28: Annual League Meeting, Orlando, Florida: As free agency winds down, NFL owners, general managers and head coaches will head down to Orlando for their annual meetings. Those parties often meet the media while also announcing any rule changes that could go in place for the 2018 season.

April 2: Offseason Program Begins: Because the Colts will have a new head coach in 2018, they will get to begin their offseason program two weeks earlier than normal. Of course, all eyes will be on the throwing status of Andrew Luck when the team begins individual and team drills later in April and May.

Mid-April: NFL Schedule Announced: We know who and where the Colts will play in 2018, we just don’t know when. That comes in mid-April when the NFL announces their 2018 slate of games.

April 26-28: NFL Draft, Arlington, Texas: Fans of the Colts won’t have to wait long on Thursday night of the draft. The Colts will draft No. 3 overall in each round. Thursday will be Round 1, Friday will be Rounds 2 and 3, with the final 4 rounds coming on Saturday.

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