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2013 NFL Schedule: start of free agency, Steelers vs. Vikings in London Sept. 29

All the important dates to remember and reference before the start of the league year March 12.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL's 2013 schedule has been released, and with it, the first Regional Combines will take place.

Starting Saturday and running into March (after the NFL Scouting Combine Feb. 20-26 in Indianapolis), regional sites will host local players looking to get noticed.

The start of the 2013 league year is March 12, which is the big offseason day. Clubs must submit qualifying offers to restricted and exclusive rights free agents, and all contracts expire or start in the next year of the deal. It's also when teams can sign unrestricted free agents. The salaries of the top 51 players on every team must be under the salary cap as well.

So in six weeks, the Steelers will have given tender offers to their six exclusive rights and restricted free agents, as well as restructured contracts and even possibly applied the franchise tag (not likely).

More: Steelers draft news | Steelers Free Agents | Steelers salary cap

The Steelers will play the Minnesota Vikings in London in Week 4 of the upcoming year, meaning their bye will be in Week 5. They will play in the game as the away team, meaning they will still play eight games at Heinz Field.

Steelers 2013 Schedule

Home: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Miami and Tennessee

Away: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Green Bay, Minnesota (London), New England, New York Jets and Oakland.

NFL 2013 Schedule

February 9-10

Regional Combine, Orange Coast College-Lebard Stadium, Los Angeles, California

February 16
Regional Combine, Methodist Training Center (Texans), Houston, Texas

February 17
Regional Combine, Cleveland Browns Training Facility, Cleveland, Ohio

February 20-26
Combine Timing and Testing, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.

March 2-3
Regional Combine, Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility, New York/New Jersey

March 9
Regional Combine, One Buccaneer Place, Tampa, Florida

March 10
Regional Combine, Halas Hall (Bears), Chicago, Illinois

March 9-11
Clubs are permitted to enter into contract negotiations with certified agents of players who will be Unrestricted Free Agents at the end of the current League Year.

March 12
Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2013 on all players who have option clauses in their 2012 contracts.

March 12
Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit Qualifying Offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts and to whom they desire to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.

March 12
Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a minimum salary offer to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2012 contracts and who have fewer than three seasons of free agency credit.

March 12
All 2012 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

March 12
Top-51 Begins. All clubs must be under the Salary Cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.

March 12
The 2013 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

March 12
Trading period begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, for 2013 after expiration of all 2012 contracts.

March 16-17
Regional Combine, Atlanta Falcons Training Facility, Atlanta, Georgia

March 17-20
Annual League Meeting, The Biltmore, Phoenix, Arizona.

March 23-24
Regional Combine, Virginia Mason Athletic Center (Seahawks), Seattle, Washington

March 23-24
Regional Combine, Baltimore Ravens Training Facility, Baltimore, Maryland

April 7-8
Super Regional Combine, Cowboys Stadium, Dallas, Texas

April 25-27
NFL Draft, New York City, New York.

May 20-22
NFL Spring League Meeting, Hyatt-Harborside, Boston, Massachusetts.

September 5, 8-9
NFL Kickoff 2013

September 29
NFL International Series, London, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Minnesota Vikings

October 27
NFL International Series, London, San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars