Patriots release 2017 training camp dates

Dan Hope / NFL Draft Sites Network

As of today, we're only five weeks away from the return of football. The Patriots released the official dates for the team's training camp on their website--camp will begin July 27, and the first session of public practices will run through the 30th.

While the exact times will be posted later here, morning sessions are slated to begin "in the 9 o'clock hour." For the 15th straight year, they will be conducted on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium and will be free for all in attendance.

Training camp will mark the first full-contact work of the offseason, as the coaching staff works to cut the 90 players currently on the roster down to an eventual 53. Thanks to a rule change, there will no longer be a cutdown to 75 players as in past seasons--now the team is simply required to carry only 53 players by 4 PM EST on September 3.

Without preseason games and joint practices to evaluate players against their competition, cutting out almost half the roster would be pretty tough. This year, the Pats will have two joint practices with the Jaguars on August 7 and 8, just before their first preseason game on August 10. As with the first four sessions, those days will also be open to the public. Camp will continue through the four preseason games, up until the final cutdown day. From there it's on to Week 1, where the Patriots and Chiefs will kick off the regular season from Gillette Stadium.

Like what you read? Read more by me here, and follow me on Twitter @AidanStenson!