The NFL has developed a recent habit of releasing the regular-season schedule on one specific day of the week. As Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette points out, the league has pulled the sheet off the slate of games on a Tuesday for four straight years.
Three of those four times, the schedule came on the second Tuesday before the draft. In 2010, the schedule was released the Tuesday of draft week.
Based on recent history, this means the most likely target for the release of the full 2012 schedule is Tuesday, April 17.
The league rarely gives much advance notice regarding the date for the schedule release. Even though the who’s and the where’s were known the moment the regular-season ended, the when’s remain info which the fans have tremendous interest in knowing.
And the NFL knows it.
The schedule release typically occurs via a live special on NFL Network and one of the various ESPN networks. Often, advance TV listings hint at the ultimate date.
Regardless, the only thing we know with certainty is that the schedule will be released before the draft. The league said Friday that a supposedly leaked schedule (which gives CBS the 4:15 p.m. ET double-header spot every week and FOX that position zero times) is bogus. Given that the league never has had a full-season schedule slip out prematurely, one of the first things we’ll do with the official schedule is compare it to the leaked schedule.