Earlier this week Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported that the NFL schedule release will go on as usual sometime in the middle of April. Releasing a schedule for next season is making the assumption that there will, you know, actually be a season.
We're in a lockout right now and we don't know when it'll be resolved. But, if this thing rolls into later into the summer, at some point the league will have to decide when games will be canceled. if they work out a deal the first week of September, for example, I'm not sure the week one games can go as planned.
So does the NFL have a date on which games will officially be delayed or canceled? SB Nation interviewed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday and asked him that very question.
We do not have a firm date. We have been focused on negotiations and trying to get resolution to this. Obviously the uncertainty of not having an agreement - we're in the midst of constructing our 2011 playing schedule. We have to try to obviously plan for flexibility on that. We are planning on a full season. We are preparing for a full season. And we certainly hope to be playing a full season.
Honestly, I'm surprised they don't have a firm date. Judge David Doty's recent ruling in the TV contracts case indicated that the league had been preparing for the possibility of a lockout dating back two years. Negotiator Jeff Pash has also indicated that they had to plan for all possibilities, including a lockout.
So why wouldn't they have a rather large deadline figured out already?