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Rumors fly of possible NFLPA concessions

Though the NFL and the union have agreed not to talk publicly about their ongoing Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations, word of some of the details have been leaking out via private avenues.

Per a league source, there’s talk that the NFLPA is willing to agree to the expansion of the regular season to 18 games.

(We’ve long believed that talk from the league¬†of an 18-game regular season was aimed at securing the addition of one game, moving the total number of games to 17.)

The source also says that, as an inducement to getting a deal done before the start of the uncapped year, the union is willing to adhere to the free-agency eligibility rules that will apply in 2010 absent a new labor deal.  Specifically, players whose contracts expire after the season would be required to have six years of service in order to be eligible for unrestricted free agency.

Though the players who will be restricted free agents under that scenario might not be too pleased, the reality is that they’ll be restricted free agents if no deal is done at all.

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29 Responses to “Rumors fly of possible NFLPA concessions”
  1. Motley Blue says: Nov 14, 2009 5:05 PM

    Even though more football games would be great for the fans, I think the 16-game regular season is sufficient enough. There’s enough wear and tear on players currently.
    I personally don’t want a 17-game or 18-game schedule. I like the way things are now. The math works right right, everything is divisible: 32 teams, 16 games, 8 divisions.
    Plus, season records (like most rushing or passing yards in a season) would fall by the wayside with the benefit of two extra games.

  2. leatherneck says: Nov 14, 2009 5:13 PM

    Keep the 16-game schedule! Enough is enough. Don’t mess with the records.We all know what 9-7 means and what 13-3 means. Let’s not have 13-5 or 6-12.

  3. Child_Please! says: Nov 14, 2009 5:15 PM

    @Motley;
    The league will be moving more and more games overseas so season ticket holders would like to see an expanded schedule. My guess is you feed your pie hole with cheese puffs while imitating Al Bundy on the couch on Sundays.
    Season ticket holder dont share your views.

  4. Joe in Toronto, Canada says: Nov 14, 2009 5:15 PM

    The owners should hold strong and bring the union to it’s knees, where it belongs, In my opinion.

  5. ctpatsfan77 says: Nov 14, 2009 5:25 PM

    This needs a bit of clarification: are you saying that the rules for 2010 will stay permanently, or that it’s a one-time, “only folks in 2010 get screwed” rule?

  6. SFrancis1680 says: Nov 14, 2009 5:36 PM

    For the NFLPA to concede on issues like FAgency & a 18 game season, already is STUPID BEYOND BELIEF. the violent nature of the game, the way the NFL turns its back on players who no longer play the game, and the health issues they devolp later in life, should make each and every one of these guys realize the type of people their dealing with. Commissioner GREEDell has yet to explain WHY a longer season would benefit the fans. Commissioner GREEDell never heard of the concept that LESS IS MORE, the owners opted out of the current deal, so it should put the onus on the owners to open up their books, before the players make those type of concessions. Anything less than that, would make the NFLPA look like they were played like a fiddle. Hopefully this rumor is off base, I”D RATHER SEE A STRIKE, THAN SEE THE PLAYERS GIVE INTO THESE OWNERS

  7. Jerry says: Nov 14, 2009 5:36 PM

    There used to be a 14 game schedule, what about those sacred records? If you cant figure out the math buy a calculator…More regular season games, less preseason, what is the problem here?

  8. ar1888 says: Nov 14, 2009 5:39 PM

    Im a season ticket holder, and would be all for them taking away a preseason game, and adding a a home game. Im all ready paying for that game anyway. Plus I never go to the preseason games.

  9. Eric says: Nov 14, 2009 5:39 PM

    The owners should get blood testing for HGH…probably won’t happen..
    Over 16 games really sucks for the players..I thought the NFL wants to minimize injuries? What happens when a key marketable player goes down in Week 18/game 17 and misses the playoff stretch?

  10. Cleric John Preston says: Nov 14, 2009 5:42 PM

    I don’t understand any major arguments against an 18 game season, so long as you eliminate 2 preseason games.
    1) More games means more seperation in terms of the playoff picture. Hopefully no more 10-6 teams will take the bad-beat of missing the playoffs.
    2) Less ripoffs for season tickets holders who pay full price for preseason BS
    3) tests the depth of teams, and perhaps creates more jobs for more players.
    4) Season records fell when the season expanded from 14 games to 16 games. Thats not a big deal, this isn’t baseball.
    5) Wear and Tear on players could actually be reduced this way. If you have a longer season, than it makes MORE SENSE to rest your injured players for the stretch run.
    With a short season, players are rushing back even faster because the season is so short.
    6) Scouting small schools that have big talent guys will be more important, and I don’t see that as a bad thing

  11. SmackMyVickUp says: Nov 14, 2009 5:50 PM

    Drop 2 preseason games and keep a 16 game schedule. No starters play in preseason and games are never taken seriously.

  12. Terry says: Nov 14, 2009 5:57 PM

    This “do nothing” union WILL concede a whole lot more before an agreement is reached!

  13. pfii63 says: Nov 14, 2009 6:07 PM

    Will they also increase roster size to help manage an 18 game schedule? That would seem to be an important issue.

  14. yeshello says: Nov 14, 2009 6:10 PM

    The one change that’s need be done is to get rid of the Rookie Pool, and replace it with a true slotting system. #1 pick gets x, #2 gets -x and so on and so on.

  15. tatum32 says: Nov 14, 2009 6:11 PM

    18 games are bad, but dropping 2 preseason games is even worse…starters play in a limited fashion and need game conditions….for backups and waiver-wire finds games are always taken seriously.
    18 games will cause more injuries and even worse football due to the appalling lack of depth on some rosters.

  16. steelerer says: Nov 14, 2009 6:23 PM

    Cleric John Preston says:
    November 14, 2009 5:42 PM
    I don’t understand any major arguments against an 18 game season, so long as you eliminate 2 preseason games.
    1) More games means more seperation in terms of the playoff picture. Hopefully no more 10-6 teams will take the bad-beat of missing the playoffs.
    2) Less ripoffs for season tickets holders who pay full price for preseason BS
    3) tests the depth of teams, and perhaps creates more jobs for more players.
    4) Season records fell when the season expanded from 14 games to 16 games. Thats not a big deal, this isn’t baseball.
    5) Wear and Tear on players could actually be reduced this way. If you have a longer season, than it makes MORE SENSE to rest your injured players for the stretch run.
    With a short season, players are rushing back even faster because the season is so short.
    6) Scouting small schools that have big talent guys will be more important, and I don’t see that as a bad thing
    Your reaching and acting like is would be a an easy transition.
    1) do you really need more seperation, bad beat what? Thats what fans want, whats the purpose of less meaningful games at the end of the season
    2)less ripoff, but the shortened careers. Just take away 2 preseason games problem solved.
    3)Test the depth of teams, not sure, but a 53 man roster is a 53 mam roster. i dont know about you , but i dont want see guys in the UFL playing because the season is too long. I prefer better football than a longer season.
    4) dont really care about season records.
    5) Simple answer is no , players ages if their on the filed or not. Coaches are not going to rest reggie wayne just so they can play the guy on the practice squad, if he can play he will play.
    6) scouting small schools are already done, again this is a roster issue, its 53 man roster how will a longer season make clubs start scouting small schools when they are only allowed a 53 man roster 18 or 16 games.

  17. Fan_Of_ Four says: Nov 14, 2009 6:47 PM

    Most of your starters see very little action the first two pre-season games as it is now so yes it would make a difference as far as wear and tear goes. I like the idea of locking the players in for six years before they can become FA’s. Now all they need is a rookie salary cap.

  18. SF Saints Fan says: Nov 14, 2009 6:49 PM

    If 2 preseason games are eliminated in order to get to an 18 game regular season schedule I have no problem with that so long as teams don’t try to charge extra for a season ticket package because you “are now getting 9 regular season games.” I can see in now, we are giving you an “extra” regular season game, pay up…….
    I would think that a good compromise to the argument that you don’t get a good enough look at some players with only 2 preseason games would be to have a “special” roster of players that teams could hold on to for the first 4 weeks of the regular season. These players could be placed on the active roster without penalty, but the game day roster would be the same. Say something like 6 players with less than 3 years of service and 4 of those players being rookies and 1st year players.
    This way teams would get a chance to look at young guys, more old guys would keep their roster spots for a few more weeks before they are cut for the young bucks and teams could hold on to a few younger players to account for injury. After the first 4 weeks then a practice squad could be introduced.

  19. drbob1117 says: Nov 14, 2009 6:50 PM

    @ Cleric: Now teams will miss the playoffs when they go 11-7

  20. tatum32 says: Nov 14, 2009 7:04 PM

    I see this coming a mile away…18 game schedule, and 2 games in London for different teams rotating throughout the schedule…..
    I just think they shouldnt expand, because there are bad teams who have stayed bad longer and much worse quarterbacking…. they wont showcase our sport the right way, but cash is king…those crowds at Wembley have Goddell and Network Execs salivating…

  21. Your comment submission failed for the following reasons: Registration is required. says: Nov 14, 2009 7:07 PM

    “This needs a bit of clarification: are you saying that the rules for 2010 will stay permanently, or that it’s a one-time, “only folks in 2010 get screwed” rule?”
    ===========
    I think the way to look at it is this: GMs are already preparing based on what the current situation is, so they won’t attempt to change that. Beyond that, anything is up in the air, but they’ll want to let the GMs plan their rosters for next year with some expectation of stability re: FAs.

  22. Your comment submission failed for the following reasons: Registration is required. says: Nov 14, 2009 7:12 PM

    Regarding the expanded schedule, I had become fond of the idea of going 17 games. Each team keeps their eight home games, unlike now with one team losing a home game to London each year. It would leave 16 neutral-site games, affording the league the opportunity to move to 2 London games per year (as Goodell indicated they’d pursue for next season), allow them to try some international games in Mexico City, which the league has indicated an interest in, and allow for an extensive slate of up to 14 games to be played in, say, LA, giving the league a chance to milk that market without having to move a team there. It works out well for all parties involved.
    But going to 18 games? Presents the same problems as the 16-game schedule, and I can see it being more of a point of contention for the players–add two games to their workload for the season, and I can see much wailing and gnashing of teeth over their smaller game checks, divided up over two more weeks each season…

  23. Your comment submission failed for the following reasons: Registration is required. says: Nov 14, 2009 7:13 PM

    “Will they also increase roster size to help manage an 18 game schedule? That would seem to be an important issue.”
    =============
    I imagine that is a concession the union would demand. Bigger rosters = more player jobs available = bigger, more powerful union.

  24. tatum32 says: Nov 14, 2009 7:21 PM

    1) More games means more seperation in terms of the playoff picture. Hopefully no more 10-6 teams will take the bad-beat of missing the playoffs.
    ================================
    More games mean more injury and worse playoff football…
    2) Less ripoffs for season tickets holders who pay full price for preseason BS
    ============================
    there are some good preseason games and they showcase new talent that wouldnt otherwise play – if anything EXPAND pre-season for better football
    3) tests the depth of teams, and perhaps creates more jobs for more players.
    =============================
    that would be done if we keep pre-season, or expand rosters
    4) Season records fell when the season expanded from 14 games to 16 games. Thats not a big deal, this isn’t baseball.
    =============================
    Season records could also fall for MORE BLACKOUTS, if teams dont improve….

  25. lou517 says: Nov 14, 2009 7:22 PM

    The only way an 18 game season would work is if they give up the two preseason games. Remember that teams charge the same amount for preseason as they do regular season, so fans might as well get their money’s worth. As far as the players being ib shape, they normally work out all off-season anyway so I don’t think that would matter much. The teams that would have the most difficulty would be those with new head coaches, ut with all of the “O”TA’s I don’t even know if that would be a problem.

  26. scrapdawg12 says: Nov 14, 2009 8:04 PM

    Get this stuff done. If things head into a lockout. Many fans will be lost like they were in baseball.

  27. hotchick says: Nov 14, 2009 9:12 PM

    26 comments above. Did anyone make sense on either side?

  28. SayersButkus Crew says: Nov 14, 2009 9:18 PM

    I know it is a greater injury risk for the NFLPA union to agree to expand the schedule to 18 games from 16. But, when you factor in that most of these players are exposed to injury in pre-season anyways, it is offset somewhat. Also, these players are now required to attend OTAs and off-season workouts anyways which exposes them to injury way more than the days when Neanderthals such as Deacon Jones reigned supreme and players showed up to training camps in July and sweated through a six-game pre-season.
    I would like to see the NFL copy MLB and NBA and NHL and find a way to improve the way it develops players beyond burying them on practice squads. Some sort of minor league feeder system. I would also like to see Goodell and DeMare Smith and the other powers that be work out a way for the league to replenish rosters in-season with some sort of equivalent of “September call-ups” in baseball with regards to roster expansion.
    I realize the primary purpose of practice squad players is to be “scrimmage fodder” for the starters. Still, I like the idea of some of these younger players getting some increased playing time later in the season if not with the organization that drafted them then elsewhere.
    That way, if I was a fan of a team that was languishing with a 4-11 record with three games to go, maybe I could root for some late season call-ups to be plugged into the lineup. This would also aid teams who were hard hit by injury or overpaid underachieving players.
    I think the NFL should encourage the concept of “raiding practice squads.” I believe an improved in-season player development system would offset whatever injury concerns which may mount.

  29. tatum32 says: Nov 14, 2009 10:19 PM

    26 comments above. Did anyone make sense on either side?
    =========================
    says the person with no comment at all….

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