As the Falcons begin to turn the page and look forward, here are the key dates to know about for the 2017 offseason.
Feb. 28- March 6: NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
The best prospects in the 2017 Draft will head to Indianapolis for the week-long NFL Combine. Atlanta's scouting, personnel and coaching staff will all be in attendance. Players will go through a series of physical, mental and health tests, as well as addressing the media during their individual sessions.
As always, AtlantaFalcons.com will have coverage of the week's events. Head Coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff will each conduct a press conference.
March 7-9: Free agent negotiating window
At noon ET, clubs are permitted to contact and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2016 player contracts at 4 p.m. ET on March 9. Contracts cannot be executed with a new club until 4 p.m. ET on March 9. This was a recent change added to the NFL year and, last year, it helped spark some contract deals right at the start of free agency. Atlanta was very busy during free agency last season, adding C Alex Mack, WR Mohamed Sanu and DL Derrick Shelby.
March 9: Start of new league year
At 4 p.m. ET, free agency starts. As mentioned earlier, deals can now get done pretty quickly once free agency begins because of the negotiation period in the days leading up to the start of the new league year.
March 26-29: League meetings
Owners and officials will congregate in Phoenix, AZ., for the annual three-day set of meetings during which a wide range of league topics will be discussed, including the potential for rule changes. Head Coach Dan Quinn will have a breakfast where he will address the media.
Mid-April: Schedule Release
The 2017 NFL schedule will be released in mid-April; the moment Falcons fans can start planning for the upcoming season. Atlanta will play the following opponents, with the dates to be determined:
Home: Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys
Away: Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks
April 17: Offseason workout program begins
Falcons players can report back to Flowery Branch for a nine-week offseason program.
April 21: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets
This is the deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.
April 27-29: NFL Draft
The NFL Draft will be held in Philadelphia, where the first-ever Draft was hosted. The Falcons hold the No. 31 overall selection.
May 5-8: First weekend option for rookie minicamp
This is the first weekend teams can choose to hold their three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp.
May 12-15: Second weekend option for rookie minicamp
This is the second weekend teams can choose to hold their three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp.
Mid-to-late June: Mandatory veteran minicamp
Teams will hold their mandatory three-day veteran minicamps.
Late July: Training Camp
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. Dates, times and sessions open to the public will be available during the summer on AtlantaFalcons.com