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Here are key dates this NFL offseason and what they mean for Bengals

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Here are some key dates this NFL offseason to pay attention and how they affect the Bengals:

April 17: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

The Skinny: This is first of three allowed Organized Team Activity sessions.

April 21: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.

The Skinny: The Bengals have one restricted free agent - backup offensive lineman T.J. Johnson.

April 27-29: 2017 NFL Draft, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Skinny: The first round will be held on April 27 and the Bengals have the ninth pick. The second and third rounds will be on April 28 with the Bengals picking 41st overall and then 73rd overall.

April 29 is going to be a crazy, busy day for the team as it holds eight picks over the final four rounds, including two compensatory picks after the fourth round and two compensatory picks after the sixth round.

May 5-8: Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie mini-camp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.

The Skinny: There is also a rookie mini-camp window of May 12-15, but the Bengals held there rookie mini-camp last season in the early window and would expect them to do the same this year.

May 9: Deadline for Prior Club to send "May 9 Tender" to its unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents.

The Skinny: If a player has not signed a Player Contract with a club by July 22 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later, he may negotiate or sign a Player Contract from that date until the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, at 4 p.m., ET, only with his Prior Club.

May 22-24: Spring League Meeting, Chicago, Illinois.

June 1: Deadline for Prior Club to send "June 1 Tender" to its unsigned Restricted Free Agents who received a qualifying offer for a Right of First Refusal Only in order for such player to be subject to the CBA's "June 15 Tender" provision.

The Skinny: T.J. Johnson is only Bengals player this would apply.

July 15: At 4 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2017 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club's last regular season game.

The Skinny: It's doubtful the Bengals use a Franchise Tag on any of its unrestricted free agents.

Mid-July: Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players beginning seven days prior to the club's earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for veteran players.

Also:

  • Veteran players (defined as a player with at least one pension-credited season) other than quarterbacks or "injured players" (as defined in CBA Article 21, Section 6) may report to a club's preseason training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the club's first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.
  • Veteran quarterbacks and injured players may be required to report to the club's preseason training camp no earlier than five days immediately prior to the mandatory reporting date for all other veteran players, provided the club has already opened (or simultaneously opens) its official preseason training camp for all rookies and first-year players.
  • A three-day acclimation period will apply to players who are on a club's roster up to and including the mandatory veteran reporting date. Players who join the roster after that date may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical.

July 22: Signing Period ends for unrestricted Free Agents to whom a "May 9 Tender" was made by prior club. After this date and until 4 p.m., ET on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.

The Signing Period also ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 4 p.m. ET on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.

July 27: Training camp scheduled to begin.

NOTE: There will also be the announcement of the 2017 team schedules likely sometime in mid-April.

Click here for the full 2017 NFL Calendar from NFL.com.

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