A team of people and computers have a massive task every season: create as “fair” an NFL schedule as logistically possible. And do it within a system that can produce literally trillions of possibilities.
But as the Los Angeles Times reported Monday, that lengthy process had to essentially be done twice this offseason, thanks to the retirement and un-retirement of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady earlier this spring.
“When Tom Brady retired, we were concerned about the strength of the NFC package because there were so many terrific Tampa Bay games we were looking at,” NFL executive Howard Katz told the Times. “Then a month later he un-retires and we sort of started all over again.”
The NFL has taken a slow drip approach to releasing its 2022 schedule. After finalizing and releasing opponents for each team on Jan. 20, the league revealed on April 22 that it will hold its first ever Christmas Day triple-header this season.
The teams tabbed for those games, as well as the league's international contests and other special event games, are expected to be leaked over the course of this week prior to the full schedule release Thursday.
On Monday, the league revealed that it will hold two Monday Night Football games during Week 2 action Sept. 19. The Tennessee Titans will visit the Buffalo Bills before the Philadelphia Eagles host the Minnesota Vikings in the nightcap.