1. ESPN Radio to broadcast Patriots games nationally.
If Patriots fans not in the New England area want to hear Bob Socci and Scott Zolak call Pats games on the radio this fall, they can still tune in to the team's official website.
But for fans who might not have access to a computer during a game, or for those who want a more national perspective, they can now tune in to their local ESPN Radio affiliate.
ESPN announced this morning that it has signed individual multi-year agreements with the Patriots Giants, Jets, Steelers, and Dolphins for out-of-market Sunday afternoon syndication rights beginning with the 2013 season, the first time ESPN Radio will broadcast NFL games nationally on its network.
The ESPN broadcasts will utilize the network's own announcers. Thus far the only announcers named are Herm Edwards, Bill Polian and former Pats center Damien Woody, but additional announcers will be named at a later date.
2. 2014 NFL Draft pushed back two weeks, but not the rest of the offseason calendar.
We're only a few weeks into the 2013 season, but the NFL league office is already looking forward to the 2014 offseason.
The NFL announced today that the 2014 NFL Draft will be held May 8-10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City – two weeks later than usual.
But the later date isn't part of a sinister plot by the NFL to stretch out its offseason calendar and dominate the news cycle for 12 months (not yet, at least). The Draft is usually held over the final weekend in April, but that weekend coincides with Easter next year, and Radio City is already booked for some Easter shows.
To wit, the league also announced that the NFL Scouting Combine and start of the new League Year will be held at their usual times next year – Feb. 18-25, and March 11, respectively.
The NFL has not committed to a date for the 2015 draft.