Amid the Peyton Manning signing, the Tim Tebow trade, the Saints bounty scandal and the release of new uniforms courtesy of Nike, the NFL announced its nationally televised 2012 preseason games schedule.
The preseason will kick off with the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio between the Arizona Cardinals against the aforementioned Saints sans head coach Sean Payton.
The Cardinals, who couldn't nab Peyton Manning, will open the preseason against the Saints, who will be without Sean Payton and have yet to give quarterback Drew Brees a contract extension.(Reuters/Rick Scuteri)
The Indianapolis Colts, who are projected to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the number one overall pick in the upcoming draft, will be showcased in prime time on Sunday, Aug. 19 (NBC, 8 p.m. ET) against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who will be playing without potential Hall of Fame wide receiver Hines Ward for the first time in 14 seasons.
The Super Bowl champion New York Giants will host the Chicago Bears on Friday, Aug. 24 (CBS, 8 p.m. ET) for their first nationally televised game since upending the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
No game during Week 4 of the preseason will be nationally televised.
Below is the schedule via NFL.com:
Hall of Fame Game
Sunday, Aug. 5 Arizona vs. New Orleans -- NFL Network (8 p.m. ET)
Week 1 (Aug. 9-13)
Thursday, Aug. 9 Green Bay at San Diego -- ESPN (8 p.m. ET)
Monday, Aug. 13 Dallas at Oakland -- ESPN (8 p.m. ET)
Week 2 (Aug. 16-20)
Thursday, Aug. 16 Cincinnati at Atlanta -- FOX (8 p.m. ET)
Friday, Aug. 17 Detroit at Baltimore -- FOX (8 p.m. ET)
Sunday, Aug. 19 Indianapolis at Pittsburgh -- NBC (8 p.m. ET)
Monday, Aug. 20 Philadelphia at New England -- ESPN (8 p.m. ET)
Week 3 (Aug. 23-26)
Thursday, Aug. 23 Arizona at Tennessee -- ESPN (8 p.m. ET)
Friday, Aug. 24 Chicago at N.Y. Giants -- CBS (8 p.m. ET)
Saturday, Aug. 25 Houston at New Orleans -- CBS (8 p.m. ET)
Sunday, Aug. 26 San Francisco at Denver -- FOX (4 p.m. ET)
Sunday, Aug. 26 Carolina at N.Y. Jets -- NBC (8 p.m. ET)