There is no NFL to speak of at the moment. Because of the NFL Lockout, players are not allowed to use the team facilities or have access to the trainers and coaching staffs. Also, NFL teams are unable to trade, sign or re-sign players.
The fact that teams can’t sign anyone they draft isn’t stopping the league from having the 2011 NFL Draft later this month however. In fact, in a move that can only infuriate the players union, the NFL, at least on the surface, is conducting business as usual. In fact, this evening at Tuesday evening at 7pm EST on the NFL Network, the league will announce the full schedule for the 2011 regular season. While teams have known their opponents since the end of last season because non-division games were determined by last year’s finish, they didn’t know what dates they were playing and where.
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The NFL will kick off its regular season on September 8, 2011, but that’s the Thursday night kickoff and just one game. The full slate of games doesn’t start until…that’s right, you’ve guessed it, Sunday September 11, 2011, the 10-year anniversary of one of the saddest days in our country. One of the most anticipated aspects of the NFL’s announcement today will be whether or not the NFL has the New York Jets and New York Giants play each other on 9/11.
If you haven’t yet read NFL Scout Jayson Braddock’s proactive take on this, you really are missing something special. Whether you were personally affected by this tragedy or not, if you aren’t moved by what he writes, you’re just a cold hearted bastard.