Signs point to regular-season schedule release next week

ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

There’s one last NFL offseason tentpole to erect, before we can enjoy the summer months and begin the inevitable (and insufferable) social-media countdowns to football season.

It’s the schedule release.

All the NFL will say is it’s coming this month. That’s all the NFL ever says.

Will it be this week? As best we can tell, no, it won’t be.

How about next week? That’s currently looking more likely. Especially since next week is a big week for the TV industry, with the “upfront” presentations in New York. Given that the league now authorizes each of the networks to announce a game or two in the days preceding the full release, it makes sense for the networks to generate maximum buzz by sharing a taste of the schedule on the day they unveil their full fall lineups.

If not next week, the next week is the week preceding Memorial Day weekend. That’s not the week for getting the most possible attention for the coming schedule.

We still think the NFL could turn the schedule release into a full-week event. Between Thursday nights and Sunday nights and Monday nights and Thanksgiving and Christmas, the NFL could take over four nights.

On Monday, Sunday night. On Tuesday, Monday night. On Wednesday, Thursday night. On Thursday, Thanksgiving and Christmas in the late morning/afternoon and the rest of the schedule that night.

Regardless of the date(s), it’s coming soon. The “when” to go with the “who” and “where.” The excellent videos from the teams (two-time defending champions are the Chargers). The crystallization of the football season to come.