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Union already has agreed to expand the regular season

We’ve posted a few blurbs on some of the items on the agenda for Tuesday’s one-day meeting of owners in Dallas.  Here’s another one.

A discussion will be conducted regarding the expansion of the regular season, and a corresponding reduction in the preseason.

The current thinking is that the regular season would be increased from 16 games to 18 games, and that the preseason would be reduced from four to two.  There’s also a chance (although slimmer than we previously believed) that the regular season would grow to 17 games, and that the preseason would shrink to three.

As we understand it, the item isn’t scheduled for a vote on Tuesday.  And while there’s an assumption that any increase to the regular season would come as part of a new labor deal, the Collective Bargaining Agreement already permits the league to play 18 regular-season games — without reducing the preseason from four.

Under Article XXXVIII, Section 12 of the CBA, the league has the ability to increase the regular season by up to 18 games by giving at least 90 days notice to the NFLPA.  The only question not resolved is the specific amount of money that would be paid to the players for the extra games.

Under Article XXXVII, Section 6, the league is required to use its “best efforts to hold no more than four preseason games.”

So, basically, the union already has agreed to play up to 22 regular-season and preseason games per team, per year.  (The Hall of Fame game participants could end up playing 23 games.)

The fact that the 2010 schedule has been set with only 16 regular-season games in the final year of the CBA means that the league won’t be using the ability to add up to two regular-season games within the confines of the current deal.  But the fact that the authority to add up to two regular-season games is already part of the deal means that the league has entered the negotiations with the ability to expand the regular season absent the making of any specific concession to the players.

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23 Responses to “Union already has agreed to expand the regular season”
  1. metaldeth says: May 24, 2010 7:48 AM

    Didn’t they opt out of that CBA?

  2. Mooch says: May 24, 2010 7:51 AM

    Awesome, more diluting of the sport. Hasn’t the NHL and NBA proven that more is not always better?
    The 1pm game won’t make it past 2014. And then they can start taking away 4pm games so eventually people on the East Coast won’t be able to see half the games (starting at 930pm).
    But they can make an extra $1 doing it, so why not wreck the product?

  3. Bill In DC says: May 24, 2010 7:52 AM

    So how would they work the extra two games?
    Would the season start in mid-August or would they keep the current traditional starting date of the first Thursday after Labor Day and just extend the season (as in having the SuperBowl on the Sunday of Presidents Day weekend)?
    Implications of that are it would favor (maybe) cold weather teams because there would be more games in January than before (that could drive more teams to insist on covered stadiums as well).

  4. dboom92 says: May 24, 2010 7:55 AM

    Worst mistake in NFL history.

  5. imabigdog says: May 24, 2010 8:04 AM

    WOW! I guess that Bryant Gumble was right about Paul Tagliabue having a leash for Gene Upshaw. That provision about the games is a monster to give the league. I would love to know what value Upshaw got in return for that.
    Not only could the season be extended to 22 games, but there was NO provision on how the players would get paid! WOW.

  6. David56 says: May 24, 2010 8:08 AM

    All I see with this movement is more money to the owners and more injuries to players. If nothing else fans can pay for over priced seats by the very end of the season to watch 3rd and 4th string players on the field.
    Last paragraph: “that could drive more teams to insist on covered stadiums as well.’
    What a bunch of weenies! I’m 56 years old and remember when there were no such things as covered stadiums. The famous Packers-Cowboys “Ice Bowl” would never have been remembered if Lambeau had had such a thing as a covered stadium back in those days.
    Ancient me! I still think football should be played everywhere in open stadiums and damn the weather.

  7. Black QB White RB says: May 24, 2010 8:13 AM

    Great plan…isn’t anything else sports-wise going until for those few weeks in February anyway, the NFL would dominate that much more in TV ratings and corresponding revenue.
    NFL will go straight up until President’s Day, and lots of people get the day after the Super Bowl off like they always wanted, making the Super Bowl more and more legitimately a national holiday…………

  8. Santonio'sBluntWrap says: May 24, 2010 8:21 AM

    Look, I love football. The fanatic in me says more football is awesome, and there’s something about a Labor Day weekend with football that just sounds right.
    That being said, the sane person in me knows that the NFL schedule, as it currently is, is about as good as it’s going to get. Adding games adds injuries, it adds fatigue, and it adds risk to these men who already lay it all on the line every weekend. I just don’t think expanding the regular season is a good idea, even if they expand the rosters or add a bye week, or whatever they have in mind.
    The fanatic in me is telling the sane person in me to go straight to hell…

  9. Bill In DC says: May 24, 2010 8:33 AM

    So what the deal with how the players get paid?
    All that happens is, if there is an 18 game season, the players get 1/18 of their salary for each game instead of 1/16. I don’t get the hysteria over this.

  10. BigBear123 says: May 24, 2010 9:05 AM

    WOW! I guess that Bryant Gumble was right about Paul Tagliabue having a leash for Gene Upshaw. That provision about the games is a monster to give the league. I would love to know what value Upshaw got in return for that.
    —————
    No rookie salary cap.

  11. broncosaddict says: May 24, 2010 9:26 AM

    ” the league has the ability to increase the regular season by up to 18 games ”
    Doesn’t that actually mean they can add 18 more games?
    For a total of 34 regular season games!
    Now thats a season!!!

  12. irishsamurai says: May 24, 2010 9:26 AM

    if it aint broke,dont fix it,what is broke though is the rookie pay,fix that and stop trying to make them play football year round,thats what makes it so great,once a week you get to watch your fav team do battle,and its only a limited amount of time so they better give it thier all every week,i dont want to watch third string guys playing in feb cause all the stars got worn down and hurt from the length of season

  13. wetdentist says: May 24, 2010 9:27 AM

    the only way this could work is if the number of players on the active roster is raised considerably. midway through the season people will be asking “where do you get the guys?”

  14. Mooch says: May 24, 2010 9:30 AM

    Maybe we should have them play 82 games.
    What makes the NFL great is that it is anticipated and short.
    You could get the same result with 40 NBA or NHL games, yet they ask the fans to sit through 82. And who is doing that anymore? No one.

  15. jan van flac says: May 24, 2010 9:38 AM

    maybe it would be more palatable to the players if roster limits went up to 60, or the entire 53 man squad were active on game day.

  16. Marv_Sleezy says: May 24, 2010 9:42 AM

    I wish they would increase the pre-season to 8 games and shorten the regular season – That way it would mean more.

  17. 8man says: May 24, 2010 9:58 AM

    Mooch says:
    May 24, 2010 7:51 AM
    The 1pm game won’t make it past 2014. And then they can start taking away 4pm games so eventually people on the East Coast won’t be able to see half the games (starting at 930pm).
    _________________________________
    Actually what is more likely to happen is a 10am game and/or 11pm game.
    The NFL already owns from 1pm to 11pm on Sundays. Why not make it 10am to 11pm or 1pm to 2am, or even 10am to 2am.
    And who knows, maybe they start showing two monday night games, or make the Saturday night games permanent all year.

  18. Mean D says: May 24, 2010 10:15 AM

    Preseason games are a waste of time.

  19. funi says: May 24, 2010 11:00 AM

    Go to 17 games. All teams would play 8 home 8 away and 1 at a neutral non NFL city site against a comferance opponenet you are not scheduled to play. Play games in L.A, Sacremento, San Antonio, Orlando, Vancouver, Montreal, Mexico, London, Tornoton and Oklahoma City to name a few. You could have AZ play Dallas in ALberquerqe N.M, Pitt play Buffalo in Montreal, Miami play Jville in Orlando. All games would be played the same week. You could even have 2 game sin L.A, one on a thursday and one on Monday night!

  20. Mizzou1839 says: May 24, 2010 12:04 PM

    funi, that’s a brilliant idea

  21. thirdandgoal says: May 24, 2010 12:27 PM

    Go to 18 regluar season games, eliminate the byes so you’re really only adding 1 week. Make the conference championship games neutral-site in warm climates just like the SuperBowl. Only difference is, participating teams’ fans get first crack at tickets, not the rich-and-famous, like for the SB.

  22. hotchick says: May 24, 2010 12:48 PM

    Funi’s “idea” is the way to go. But that’s been floated on this site forever.

  23. Eric Q says: May 25, 2010 10:08 AM

    Funi’s idea makes too much sense; that’s the problem with the NFL. If it doesn’t make any logical sense, only then will it be implemented.

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