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NFL Lockout Could Affect 2011 Preseason Schedule

The NFL lockout makes virtually everything in the NFL different this year. Until that's resolved, it's hard to predict what will happen around the league. The 2011 NFL preseason schedule, which is expected to be released on Tuesday, is one of those items that's affected by the lockout. With a lockout, there can't be any games played so that's the most obvious way it's affected.

But at what point do the two sides need to come together and get an agreement done so that preseason games won't be affected (read: canceled)?

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports the league will need a "bare minimum" of about three weeks to prepare for the preseason so with the preseason scheduled to start the weekend of Aug. 12-14 that would mean July 21 has a big circle around it right now.

Of course, some fans may not mind it if all the preseason games were canceled and we started the season on the second Sunday in September.