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DMN: Our first look at the NFL schedule

Also, Jets help Holmes on suspension, plus more news and notes. Michael Lombardi

Print This April 20, 2010, 11:00 AM EST

QUOTE: “Riches do not consist in the possession of treasures but in the use made of them.” — Napolean Bonaparte

NFL schedule

Today is NFL schedule day, and NFL Network will have its preview show revealing every team’s weekly schedule along with the nationally televised games. When I was in the league, I always loved this day so I could check out the schedule of the teams in the division and pay close attention our opponents’ schedule the last half of the season.

Getting off to a great start is a nice concept, but in reality, it’s not very important. Finishing strong is what counts most; winning games in November and December is when playoff teams are made. So opening day is nice, but it doesn’t have significant implications. Tonight, when watching the schedule show, examine your favorite team’s last eight games to figure out how many tough road games await them.

What else to look for today:

1. With Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger almost certainly going to be suspended, it will be interesting to see how the league dealt with the team’s early season schedule.

2. We know Vikings QB Brett Favre will be back next year, so it will be interesting to see how many games in cold weather he’s forced to play in.

3. When will Donovan McNabb make his return to Philadelphia?

It’s a great week for the NFL, the schedule and the draft -- and how many more days until camp?

News and notes around the league

1. The Jets recently reworked Santonio Holmes’ contract to lower his base salary, so the amount of money that’s deducted for his upcoming suspension will be less. When Holmes was traded, most of his money due in 2010 was in the form of his base salary, but since he became a Jet, the team shifted the money into roster bonus, reporting bonus and signing bonus so Holmes would pay as little as possible for his fine. This clearly cannot make the NFL league office happy and goes against the spirit of the suspension.

2. Speaking of the Jets, they are actively shopping guard Alan Faneca, defensive end Shaun Ellis and linebacker Bryan Thomas and will probably waive these players after the draft. You might be surprised to read Faneca’s name, but he’s the first to go after the draft.

3. The Cowboys would part with defensive end Marcus Spears, linebacker Bobby Carpenter, wide receiver Sam Hurd, safety Pat Watkins and lineman Cory Procter for the right price. All of them are being shopped around the league.

4. I’ve been asked several times if the Raiders would take Idaho guard Mike Iupati in the first round. My answer is that it doesn’t make sense, but who knows? The Raiders have done a ton of work in recent weeks on linebacker Rolando McClain of Alabama, and although he doesn’t have “Raider speed,” he would be a good pick for them.

5. I’m still hearing the Raiders would be willing to trade any corner on their team, Nnamdi Asomugha, Chris Johnson and Stanford Routt are all available.

More tomorrow. And make sure to watch NFL Network tomorrow.

Follow me on Twitter: michaelombardi

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