The NFL has released its full preseason schedule ahead of the 2021 season, via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network:
Each team has three preseason games this year, with the exception of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys as they will play a fourth against each other in the Hall of Fame Game.
The Aug. 5 preseason opener will be one of several preseason games in prime time:
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NFL Preseason Primetime game schedule:<br>August 5th: Steelers vs. Cowboys, 8 PM, Hall of Fame Game (FOX)<br>August 20th: Chiefs at Cardinals, 8 PM (ESPN)<br>August 23rd: Jaguars at Saints, 8 PM (ESPN)<br>August 29th: Dolphins at Bengals, 4 PM (CBS), Browns at Falcons, 8 PM (NBC)
The regular season begins on Sept. 9 with the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosting the Cowboys.
The Buccaneers will make their first appearance on the field as champions on Aug. 14 for a preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The team probably won't need much time to get up to speed after returning virtually every key player from last year's title run.
The preseason could still be valuable for many players, especially after it was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There will likely be a lot of eyes on rookie quarterbacks after five of them were taken in the first 15 picks of the draft—Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones.
New quarterbacks will also try to get acclimated to the offense for potential contenders like the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams and Washington Football Team.
It could lead to a busy summer as teams prepare for the new 17-game regular season.