Eyeing April 16 for schedule release

The NFL's annual schedule release is a highly anticipated date. We already know who the Patriots will play, but there is something exciting about finding out the "when."

How many prime-time games? How many short weeks? When is the bye? Which dates possibly fit best for a road trip?

The NFL's full schedule is usually released in April, and Sports Business Journal media reporter John Ourand recently tweeted that April 16 is the date. Others have pointed out that a TV listing for NFL Network also highlights April 16 as the date.

These things can always change, so we'll tread lightly at this time, but it's nice to have a general idea of the target for the announcement.

Until the NFL puts out the official word, we'll pass along the Patriots' 2013 opponents, which are already determined:

Home: Browns, Steelers, Saints, Buccaneers, Broncos, Bills, Dolphins, Jets

Away: Ravens, Bengals, Falcons, Panthers, Texans, Bills, Dolphins, Jets