By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The NFL offseason reached its first milestone Tuesday as the window for tagging players opened.

The franchise and transition tags allow teams to place a one-year tender on a player, rather than signing them to a long-term contract.

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Last offseason, the Vikings placed the franchise tag on safety Anthony Harris. They have no likely candidates for the tag this year.

This is just the first of many important dates in the NFL offseason. The rest are below, along with Vikings-specific notes.

February 23-March 9: During this time, teams can place the franchise or transition tag on players.

March 17: The league year begins, meaning free agents can officially sign contracts. Any previously agreed upon trades, like the Matthew Stafford trade between the Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams, are made official. The Vikings have not yet announced any trades. Below is a list of Vikings’ free agents, according to Spotrac:

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  • Anthony Harris, safety
  • Eric Wilson, linebacker
  • Todd Davis, linebacker
  • George Iloka, safety
  • Rashod Hill, offensive lineman
  • Ameer Abdullah, running back
  • Sean Mannion, quarterback
  • Dakota Dozier, offensive lineman
  • Brett Jones, offensive lineman
  • Jaleel Johnson, defensive tackle
  • Chris Jones, cornerback
  • Ifeadi Odenigbo, defensive end
  • Kyle Hinton, offensive lineman
  • Mike Boone, running back
  • Chad Beebe, wide receiver

Jones, Odenigbo, Boone and Beebe are restricted free agents, which means they are free to sign with other teams, but the Vikings can give them a qualifying offer with draft-pick compensation. Hinton is an exclusive rights free agent – if the Vikings give him a one-year contract at the league minimum, he cannot sign with other teams. The rest are unrestricted free agents.

April 5: Teams with new head coaches can begin workouts. While the Vikings are not among this group, their division rival Lions are.

April 19: All teams can begin workouts.

April 19-May 1: The 2021 NFL Draft will be held in Cleveland. The Jacksonville Jaguars have the No. 1 overall pick and are expected to take Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The Vikings currently have the following picks:

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  • First-round, 14th overall
  • Two third-round picks
  • Three fourth-round picks
  • Two fifth-round picks
  • One sixth-round pick
  • One seventh-round pick

The NFL has not yet announced compensatory picks, which teams are awarded based on players who leave during free agency.