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NFL releases 2017-2018 calendar of important dates

Why not look ahead to 2018 free agency?

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The NFL released the next league calendar on Tuesday, and we have a rundown of some notable dates all the way into next spring. I’ll be creating a “Page” for it that will show up in the library link above. In the meantime, I’ve embedded the calendar down below. If you can’t see it, you can view it here.

The most notable upcoming date is July 17. Players designated with the franchise tag have until then to work out a contract extension with the team. If a deal is not done, the player cannot sign an extension until after the season.

The 2017 Hall of Fame Game kicks off the preseason on Thursday, August 3. I believe it was normally on Sunday in previous years, so this is a slight change. I always watch some part of the Hall of Fame Game, but my attention usually lasts no more than a few minutes. If it remains on TV, it is purely as background noise.

Teams have to reduce to the 53-man roster limit by 1:00 p.m. PT on September 2. Previously teams cut to 75 earlier in the week, then 53 that weekend after the final preseason game. The 75-man cut has been removed, and they can retain all 90 players through the final Thursday of preseason games. I imagine that will mean even fewer starters playing any notable reps in that final game.

The NFL trade deadline is set for October 31. We see few trades during the season, so this is not overly relevant. There will be some rumors, but the odds of any in-season dealing are pretty slim for the most part.

Teams have until November 14 to sign rookie draft picks, after which they can not play that season. Solomon Thomas is currently the 49ers only un-signed draft pick. He will likely get his deal done right before camp, similar to Joshua Garnett last July.

For those looking to get a jump on next year, the new league formally starts on March 14 at 1:00 p.m. PT. This is when free agency and trading can begin. The free agency tampering period runs March 12-14.

The 2018 offseason workout program for new head coaches can begin April 2, while returning coaches can begin their programs on April 16. Things are going well so far, which suggests the 49ers will not be part of the former group for the fourth straight year!

Here’s the full calendar, and if you can’t see it, click here.