New England Patriots scouts begin a round of meetings this week in preparation for the NFL combine. A look at some of the key dates on the NFL calendar:
Feb. 17-23: NFL combine in Indianapolis.
March 2: Last day for teams to designate franchise or transition players.
March 7-10: Beginning of "legal tampering period" as teams are permitted to contact and enter into contract negotiations with the agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents. A contract can’t be executed with a new club until March 10.
March 10: The 2015 league year and free agency period begin at 4 p.m. All teams must be under the 2015 salary cap, as only the top 51 cap figures count.
March 22-25: Annual owners meeting, Phoenix
April 6: Teams that hired a new coach can begin offseason workout programs.
April 20: Clubs with returning head coaches can begin offseason workout programs.
April 30-May 2: NFL draft. The Patriots pick 32nd in the first round.
May 8-11: Teams can hold a three-day rookie minicamp.