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Here's what to know about the upcoming Browns, NFL schedule release

The NFL is possibly the only entity in the world that can turn the release of a schedule into must-see TV. Yet, once again, a number of eyes will be glued to their TVs or other devices Thursday when the 2023 schedule finally comes out.

The Browns, and the other 31 teams, have known all 17 of their opponents since they departed Pittsburgh on Jan. 8 after losing the 2022 season finale. They've known all but three of them for years, since the annual divisional rotations are set years in advance.

What Thursday's schedule release will tell everybody is when the Browns actually will play each of those teams. It's also going to reveal how many, if any, national television appearances they will have this season.

A trickle of information about some schedules has already come out. None of it has involved the Browns.

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The NFL regular season starts Thursday, Sept. 7, with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs playing at home. The first Sunday of the season is Sept. 10.

Here's everything you need to know about the schedule release, including live updates from NFL reporters below. And check back on beaconjournal.com/sports/browns for our live updates, as more Browns leaks and confirmations come out, as well as analysis once we have the schedule.

When will the NFL schedule be officially released?

Cleveland Browns third-round draft picks Siaka Ika, left, and Cedric Tillman talk at an introductory press conference on Saturday, April 29, 2023.
Cleveland Browns third-round draft picks Siaka Ika, left, and Cedric Tillman talk at an introductory press conference on Saturday, April 29, 2023.

The NFL's two national cable television partners — NFL Network and ESPN2 — will each have a live special at 8 p.m. Thursday for the official introduction. It will also be available at NFL+, the NFL app and on YouTube.

The "NFL Live" team of host Mina Kimes, former Detroit Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky, former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Marcus Spears and insider Field Yates will lead ESPN2's show. NFL Network's coverage will be led by co-hosts Rich Eisen and Colleen Wolfe, with former NFL players Maurice Jones-Drew and Emmanuel Sanders providing analysis.

The league is billing the show on its streaming subscription service, NFL+, as the "Players Only Schedule Release." It will be hosted by Andrew Siciliano, with NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, free agent running back Mark Ingram, Los Angeles Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson, New Orleans Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu and Saints defensive end Cam Jordan providing analysis.

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It will also be streamed on the NFL Channel through the league's app, Roku, Peacock and other TV apps (more here) and YouTube. Patrick Claybon, Cynthia Frelund and Gregg Rosenthal will co-host the show.

The league will upstage its own schedule release special with a handful of games being released earlier Thursday on various shows across the NFL's different TV partners. Games will be announced on NBC's "Today Show" and ABC's "Good Morning America" in the morning, while ESPN will announce one "Monday Night Football" on its 4 p.m. "NFL Live" show.

Individual game tickets for Browns home games will be available for purchase immediately through the NFL's partnerships with Ticketmaster and SeatGeek.

What's different in 2023 about the NFL schedule?

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) hands off to running back Nick Chubb during the first half of an NFL football game between the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans in Houston, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022,. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) hands off to running back Nick Chubb during the first half of an NFL football game between the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans in Houston, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022,. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

This season is going to have its share of new wrinkles to the schedule. That's thanks to a new 11-year broadcast deal worth more than $100 billion.

What are some of the changes coming to a NFL team's schedule near you? Glad you asked.

  • Black Friday game adds to Thanksgiving weekend: The Miami Dolphins will play at the New York Jets at 3 p.m. on Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving. It will air on Amazon's Prime Video and be available whether or not you are a Prime subscriber. The addition of the game on Black Friday means there will be six national TV games on Thanksgiving weekend: Three on Thanksgiving day, one on Black Friday, a "Sunday Night Football" game and a "Monday Night Football" game.

  • "Monday Night Football" gets flex scheduling: The most controversial of the changes, at least for some, is the addition of flex scheduling for "Monday Night Football" to a select window of games in December and early January. Between Week 14 and Week 17, the league can shift a game originally scheduled for Sunday onto Monday night in order to improve the prime-time matchup. Teams must be given 12 days notice before the game.

  • More "Monday Night Football" doubleheaders: There have been two additional "Monday Night Football" ESPN/ABC doubleheaders added to the schedule, raising the total to three for the season. There was just one last season, with one game kicking off at 7:15 p.m. and the other at 8:30 p.m. The exact weeks and format of the doubleheaders remains to be determined.

  • Say goodbye to AFC-only CBS and NFC-only Fox: Remember when an all-AFC matchup — or when an AFC team played in an NFC team's stadium — on Sunday afternoon meant tuning to CBS, while one went to Fox for the all-NFC games or if an NFC team was playing at an AFC team? That's no longer strictly the case anymore. Yes, CBS/AFC and Fox/NFC will still have per-team appearance minimums so that the former gets its share of Kansas City Chiefs games and the latter its share of the Dallas Cowboys. However, Sunday games now are now essentially free agents, with no network-conference tie-in.

  • Twice on Thursday night: Previously, teams were limited to just one appearance on "Thursday Night Football." Starting this year, teams can appear twice on the Amazon Prime Video broadcast.

  • No primetime guarantees: There will be teams not getting the primetime love this season. After years of each team being guaranteed at least one primetime game, that will be no more. The goal is to assure the primetime windows, at least on paper, are filled with compelling matchups.

Who will be in the NFL's five games in Europe?

The NFL has already let the world know a few games. Most notably, it has let everyone know about the five games that will be played around the world, or at least around the United Kingdom and Germany. All five games will kick off at 9:30 p.m. Eastern time.

What other games were officially known before Thursday?

The NFL also announced three games for December on Wednesday. All three games involve playoff rematches with high-profile teams, including both AFC and NFC Championship games pairings.

Who are the Cleveland Browns' 2023 opponents?

The Browns, after finishing 7-10 in the 2022 season, will play a fourth-place schedule after finishing last in the AFC North. That means they'll play only the fourth-place team in three cross-division games in 2023: vs. Chicago Bears (3-14, fourth in NFC North), vs. New York Jets (7-10, fourth in AFC East) and at Denver Broncos (5-12, fourth in AFC West).

Each team in the AFC North — Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers — plays each other twice. They also play each team in both the AFC South and NFC West.

The Browns play seven games against 2022 playoff teams. Of those, four will be at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Here are the Browns' opponents, both home and away:

*Indicates 2022 playoff team

Home

  • Arizona Cardinals (4-13 in 2022)

  • *Baltimore Ravens (10-7)

  • Chicago Bears (3-14)

  • *Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)

  • *Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)

  • New York Jets (7-10)

  • Pittsburgh Steelers (9-8)

  • *San Francisco 49ers (13-4)

  • Tennessee Titans (7-10)

Road

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There's been few tangible rumors floating around about the Browns' schedule as the clock ticks down inside nine hours until the actual unveiling. The one that does seem to have some legs involves the season opener, which apparently will have Joe Burrow and the back-to-back AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals coming to Cleveland Browns Stadium.

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Chris Easterling can be reached at ceasterling@thebeaconjournal.com. Read more about the Browns at www.beaconjournal.com/sports/browns. Follow him on Twitter at @ceasterlingABJ.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: NFL schedule news: When will Browns 2023 calendar be released?