2021 NFL Schedule Release Reportedly Targeted for 2nd Week of May

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 4, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski, left, and quarterback Tom Brady celebrate after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. The Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs 31-9 to win the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The NFL is reportedly planning to release the 2021 regular-season schedule soon after the draft takes place. 

Per Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Journal, the league is "targeting" the second week of May to unveil the full schedule. 

The 2021 schedule is expected to be the first that will feature a 17-game regular season. In the new collective bargaining agreement that was ratified last March, an option was included that gives the league the ability to increase the regular-season schedule from 16 games to 17. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported on Dec. 27 that the league is planning to include the extra game in the 2021 schedule in part to "generate new revenue and could at least slightly soften an anticipated drop in the salary cap next year."

All 32 teams already know who their opponents for next season will be. The dates and times of those matchups has yet to be finalized. 

In past years, the NFL released its schedule before the draft. The 2019 schedule, for example, was unveiled on April 17. 

The schedule of the reveal was altered last year because of the uncertainty involving the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of being released in mid-April, it was unveiled May 7.