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Bears release key offseason dates

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The Bears on Monday announced a list of important offseason dates.

General manager Ryan Poles (11 a.m. CT) and coach Matt Eberflus (1:00 p.m. CT) will address the media Tuesday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Fans can watch both sessions live on ChicagoBears.com and the Chicago Bears Official App brought to you by Verizon.

The Bears will begin their voluntary offseason program Monday, April 4, the first day teams with new head coaches are permitted to do so. Clubs with returning coaches cannot start their offseason programs until Monday, April 18.

The Ed Block Courage Award luncheon will be held Tuesday, April 5 at Manzo's Banquets in Des Plaines. The Bears' winner of the award is running back Tarik Cohen. The awards are presented to one player on all 32 NFL teams who best exemplifies a commitment to sportsmanship and courage and serves as an inspiration in the locker room. The award recipients, who are voted for by their teammates, symbolize professionalism, great strength and dedication, and they are considered community role models.

The Bears will announce the winners of the Brian Piccolo Award Tuesday, April 26. The honor has been given to a Bears rookie since 1970 and was expanded in 1992 to include a veteran. Bears players vote for teammates who best exemplify the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of Brian Piccolo, a Bears running back who died from embryonal cell carcinoma on June 16, 1970, at the age of 26.

The NFL Draft will be held April 28-30, with the first round Thursday night, the second round Friday night and Rounds 3-7 Saturday. The Bears have five picks in the draft: Their own selections in Rounds 2, 3, 5 and 6 and an additional fifth-rounder they obtained in a trade that sent receiver Anthony Miller to the Texans. The Bears dealt their first- and fourth-round picks to the Giants last April to move up nine spots in the first round to choose quarterback Justin Fields at No. 11. They also sent their seventh-round selection to the Texans in the Miller trade. The Bears' first pick in the draft will be the seventh choice in the second round, 39th overall.

The Bears will conduct their rookie minicamp May 6-8, the weekend following the draft. They will then hold nine OTA practices May 16, 17, 19, 23, 24, 26 and June 6, 7 and 9.

The club will host the Bears Care Gala June 4 at Soldier Field. The annual event raises funds to support Chicago-area research efforts focused on finding a cure for breast and ovarian cancer and improving treatment options for those currently battling those diseases.

The offseason program will conclude with a mandatory full-squad minicamp June 14-16.

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