NFL offseason unofficially kicks off

Ryan Wood
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Green Bay Packers receiver Randall Cobb runs with the ball after making a catch against the Dallas Cowboys during the NFC divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field last month.

The unofficial kickoff to the NFL offseason came Monday, the first day of a busy week around the league.

Starting Monday, teams have a two-week window to apply the franchise tag to retain a free agent player with a one-year deal. The deadline for applying a franchise tag is 4 p.m. March 2.

The Packers could use a franchise tag to retain wide receiver Randall Cobb or right tackle Bryan Bulaga, though it's unlikely. The Packers haven't used the franchise tag designation since retaining nose tackle Ryan Pickett following the 2009 season.

The Packers likely will speak with the agents for Cobb and Bulaga this week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. General manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy will be at Lucas Oil Stadium to evaluate the top college football prospects.

The combine starts Tuesday when tight ends, offensive linemen, kickers and punters undergo physical exams and interviews with teams. The combine's final day will be Monday when defensive backs go through on-field workouts.

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