The 2017 regular-season schedule is coming soon. Coming sooner than that will be the preseason schedule.
The NFL announced recently that the preseason schedule will be announced at 5:00 p.m. ET on Monday.
The 65-game non-game games will start with the Cardinals and Cowboys playing in the Hall of Fame game, which will get started on a Thursday night this year in order to avoid last year’s debacle that occurred as the NFL transitioned the venue from the Hall of Fame induction ceremony to the Colts-Packers game that never was.
Perhaps the most noteworthy of the remaining 64 games will be the CBS prime-time game, since it will be the official debut of new No. 1 analyst Tony Romo.
The games themselves continue to be glorified practice sessions. Not long ago, the league regularly criticized the quality of preseason games, in an apparent effort to justify swapping two preseason games for a pair of extra regular-season games. With the 18-game season meeting widespread resistance, the NFL quickly stopped complaining about the preseason.
The league has the ability under the current labor deal to reduce the preseason by two games without the agreement of the union. It was believed at one point that the league would vow to do just that, hoping that the union would respond by offering to expand the regular season in order to recoup the lost revenue. But the NFL Players Association could end up calling the league’s bluff, with both sides losing a large chunk of preseason revenue — and the losses hitting the teams more significantly than each of the league’s players.