If the NFL owners want to expand the regular season to 18 games, they’re going to have some work to do convincing the players to go along with the plan.
“No one has talked about putting that proposal on the table,” NFL Players’ Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith told Charles Chandler of the Charlotte Observer. “We haven’t seen it.”
Smith said he’s concerned about the effects of two extra games on players’ health, and that he’d want to add an extra bye week during the regular season and cut down on players’ offseason responsibilities if players are going to play two more games. Smith also said he’d like to make it easier for players to qualify for health care coverage after retirement.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has suggested that the league could reduce the preseason schedule from four games to two while expanding the regular-season schedule from 16 games to 18, and therefore add more meaningful football without playing more games.
Right now, it sounds like the players’ union doesn’t think much of that plan.