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In exchange for 18-game season, some players want to change offseason schedule

There’s a sense of inevitability regarding the “enhancement” of the regular season from 16 to 18 games.  And apart from the increased money that will be paid to players for increasing their annual game workload by more than 10 percent (recognizing that their non-game game workload also would be cut in half), we’ve picked up some details regarding some of the things that some players likely will want.

Per a league source, players want to use an Enzyte’d football season as a catalyst for revising the current schedule of offseason exercise sessions and practices.

The idea currently making the rounds involves shutting down all football activities until May 15.  At that point, the players would convene for strength, conditioning, meetings, and practices sans pads.  The process would continue up until the traditional launch of training camp, with a week or two off in and around the July 4 holiday.

There are a couple of potential problems with this approach.  For starters, coaches like the current schedule, not just because it gives the teams plenty of offseason access to players, but because it provides coaches with a full month to shut down and get away before the training-camp grind begins.  Even if the players won’t be showing up until the middle of May, coaches will be grinding in February, March, and April, due to free agency and the draft.  Thus, the new schedule would reduce the coaches’ vacation time.

Also, a system of continuous workouts with only a short break between offseason and preseason could prompt agents to begin to insist on rookie deals being negotiated before the offseason program begins.  Currently, most rookies will participate in the offseason program without being under contract; absent a one-month buffer, that could change.

We’re also told that players hope to place significant restrictions on the hours they spend at the facility during offseason workouts.  In some cities, the day begins at 7:00 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m.  That’s a huge commitment when the only compensation (apart from workout bonuses) is a per diem.

The good news for players is that Commissioner Roger Goodell already seems to be willing to entertain changes to the offseason program.  In June, Goodell acknowledge that “we’re going to have to have some guidelines and restrictions on what can be done and can’t be done in the offseason.”

So apart from the money (unless Brett Favre is on the union’s Executive Committee, at which point it won’t be about money), any enhancement to the regular season likely will result in meaningful changes to an offseason that currently makes pro football a full-time, 10-month-per-year profession.

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44 Responses to “In exchange for 18-game season, some players want to change offseason schedule”
  1. MOH says: Aug 26, 2010 10:06 AM

    That little stab at Brett almost made me choke on my coffee. A+

  2. BRUTUS9448 says: Aug 26, 2010 10:09 AM

    The players area getting paid millions of dollars to play a game. They should work out when they are told and STFU

  3. BigBear123 says: Aug 26, 2010 10:09 AM

    Everyone else has to work year round. Would also cut down on out of shape players showing up to camp and getting injured.

  4. FloridaFavreFan says: Aug 26, 2010 10:10 AM

    Seriously – you somehow still have to get a Brett Favre slam in an article that has nothing to do with him.

  5. downwithdansnyder says: Aug 26, 2010 10:11 AM

    “That’s a huge commitment when the only compensation (apart from workout bonuses) is a per diem.”
    You don’t think they are compensated enough by their multi-million dollar salaries to do this? I know the checks are “game checks” but geezus.

  6. realitypolice says: Aug 26, 2010 10:17 AM

    Cue all the jealouse neanderthals screaming-
    “for what they make, they should be willing to play 18 games AND work 12 hours a day in the offseason!!!!! For the money they make, I’d work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and be glad about it”!!!!!
    Blah, blah, blah…in 3………….2…………1………..

  7. HomelandDefense says: Aug 26, 2010 10:21 AM

    oh my god, having to show up for 9 hours of work a day is a huge commitment. Sounds awful…..

  8. CARDIACCAT says: Aug 26, 2010 10:25 AM

    Florio layoff Brett if it were not for him who would you put constant lies about on your website ?

  9. sand0 says: Aug 26, 2010 10:27 AM

    Leave it up to that diva Favre to get his name into this story. Shame on Brett for saying that money isn’t the main factor in how long he’ll play.

  10. nicefellow31 says: Aug 26, 2010 10:30 AM

    None of you play pro football nor do you care about the physical toll it takes on your body. Stop complaining about what players make or what they do during the offseason.

  11. Caldon says: Aug 26, 2010 10:34 AM

    Also, a system of continuous workouts with only a short break between offseason and preseason could prompt agents to begin to insist on rookie deals being negotiated before the offseason program begins.
    ——————-
    Won’t matter if they go to slotted contracts like we want

  12. superb owl says: Aug 26, 2010 10:35 AM

    i really sympathize with the players. it must be a living hell.
    poor rich bastards.

  13. MN Boise Fan says: Aug 26, 2010 10:44 AM

    Off season activiites should be from May 1st until July 4th. Take the whole month of July off.
    Training camps should start two weeks later than usual (if there are only 2 preseason games), so that would be pushed into August, as the Regular season still won’t start until after Labor Day becuase the networks want nothing to do with games on Labor Day weekend.

  14. Pockets Straight says: Aug 26, 2010 10:48 AM

    The other thing the players should push for is an in-season PUP/ IR like they have in baseball.
    With 18 games, teams may need more roster space. Rather than making a 60 person roster, why not allow for teams to use a 2 week and a 6 week PUP designator on a player who is injured.
    Just for example, a team would have 3 2 week PUPs, and 2 6 week PUPs. So if a player goes down and would be out for 6 weeks, the team isn’t stuck with holding that player or shutting them down. Plus they would get an open roster spot which would allow the players union the opportunity to get more veterans on rosters. Would be a win-win for both sides.

  15. cusoman says: Aug 26, 2010 10:53 AM

    You know, I know Favre mentions get the hits around here, but the constant pandering to that mentality is going to eventually devolve the conversation here into YouTube quality comments, meaning that people will be posting useless drivel in all caps, with multiple exclamation points to cap it all off. This takes away from the real conversation that this type of story should illicit. Mark my words, there will be more comments in this story about Favre then there will be about the scheduling changes.

  16. realitypolice says: Aug 26, 2010 10:55 AM

    I knew 99% of the comments on here would be about what a bunch of overpaid prima donnas NFL players were. So predictable.
    Judge Judy makes 45 million dollars a year.
    Keanu Reeves makes 20 million a picture and can’t act his way out of a paper bag.
    Hank Azaria makes 8.25 million a year plus tens of millions in residuals for being the voice of Moe Szyslak on the Simpsons.
    For Christ’s sake- the friggin waterhead idiots on Jersey Shore nearly went on strike and now get $30,000 per episode to act like their retarded selves.
    Yet we always resent the athletes? Why?

  17. Pier588 says: Aug 26, 2010 10:58 AM

    NiceFellow – “None of you play pro football nor do you care about the physical toll it takes on your body. Stop complaining about what players make or what they do during the off season.”
    Soldiering and fighting wars take a physical toll on the body as well and those guys and gals aren’t paid even close to what the NFL prima donnas make. Not to mention the troops are doing their job 365 days a year in all kinds of weather, climates and terrain.
    Charging real money for fake football is the problem. There are no fake games in college outside the spring game – only cream puffs which still count. If NFL ownership really wants to do this right – all games should count and the first 3 and last 3 of each team’s schedule should be against their division opponents.
    Brutus nailed it – “They should work out when they are told and STFU” and so should you Nice.

  18. RexR#1 says: Aug 26, 2010 11:03 AM

    18 games = more possible games to tank.

  19. thelomasbrowns says: Aug 26, 2010 11:09 AM

    Playing professional football is not the same as some fat slob sitting in an office playing Farmville for 8 hours. The grueling nature of the game means players need time off to rest and recuperate–has nothing to do with how much money they earn.

  20. yem123 says: Aug 26, 2010 11:11 AM

    awww poor coaches, reduced vacation time. how can they live with 2-3 weeks vacay like the rest of the country? oh yeah, they are making a ton more than most people.

  21. edgy1957 says: Aug 26, 2010 11:18 AM

    # BRUTUS9448 says:
    The players area getting paid millions of dollars to
    ***********************
    Says the guy that gladly accepts time and a half when he has to work an hour or so of overtime. Jealous, much….

  22. WingNut says: Aug 26, 2010 11:19 AM

    In some cities, the day begins at 7:00 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m. That’s a huge commitment when the only compensation (apart from workout bonuses) is a per diem.
    Only in your world Florio do the players not get paid for the full year. Only in your world do they get paid for ONLY working training camp/preseason and season.
    Please. Owners invest heavily in these athletes. You think it’s only for 6 months work ? I’d like to only show up for 6 months and still get paid a full year at my job.
    The more you spout off since linking up with NBC the less I read your site. Between this type of crap and the useless posts flogging the other websites you’re trying to drive traffic to is getting old.
    Let’s not forget all the wasted time on your kid either. Everyone has family. Leave that sh!t at home. Don’t bring it to the office. Not if you expect to be taken seriously. Which is harder to do most days anymore.

  23. wrekOgnize says: Aug 26, 2010 11:21 AM

    (unless Brett Favre is on the union’s Executive Committee, at which point it won’t be about money)
    ROFLMAO!!!

  24. nicefellow31 says: Aug 26, 2010 11:23 AM

    Soldiering and fighting wars take a physical toll on the body as well and those guys and gals aren’t paid even close to what the NFL prima donnas make. Not to mention the troops are doing their job 365 days a year in all kinds of weather, climates and terrain.
    Charging real money for fake football is the problem. There are no fake games in college outside the spring game – only cream puffs which still count. If NFL ownership really wants to do this right – all games should count and the first 3 and last 3 of each team’s schedule should be against their division opponents.
    Brutus nailed it – “They should work out when they are told and STFU” and so should you Nice.
    ————————————-
    Pier588 thanks for pointing that out. I didn’t notice such things during my 2o year military career. I wish I knew that when I did my two deployments to Southwest Asia (120 degrees in the shade) or the year long remote assignment to Korea. BTW, what branch of the military are you in?

  25. SoFlor Steeler says: Aug 26, 2010 11:27 AM

    Florio and many others continue to think that players are paid per game – they are not…
    Players get paid for their services as part of a contract – that contract is for a year of service – not per game – not per off season workout day…
    The amount of this contract will be determined once the league and union agree to a revenue percentage [lower than last year is the owners objective] and roster size. Each player and his agent will then be negotiating to get the best possible contractual share of the player revenue pool for his team [which means that when a Nick Mangold increases his share of the pool the size of the remaining pool gets SMALLER once we get back to a salary cap.]
    There is no magical way that a player will automatically get more because he plays more games – he will get more and GODell has stressed this if total REVENUES go up – how many games he plays and how many days he works in the off season are not going to move the 57% of revenues that players get – assuming that is what is agreed to.
    And while many talk about the cap never returning you can be certain that the CBA will deal with the % of revenues that goes to the players in some form – and limit it to something that makes the owners profitable.

  26. c540058 says: Aug 26, 2010 11:36 AM

    @wingNUT
    @reality police
    Right on the money

  27. birdmancometh says: Aug 26, 2010 11:42 AM

    I wish I had a “full time” ten month per year profession…

  28. CJ says: Aug 26, 2010 11:53 AM

    BRUTUS9448 says:
    August 26, 2010 10:09 AM
    The players area getting paid millions of dollars to play a game. They should work out when they are told *die from ALS by the age of 50* and STFU
    _________________________
    Fixed. That is what you’re really trying to say, isn’t it?

  29. FinFan68 says: Aug 26, 2010 11:54 AM

    I’m pretty sure none of the contracts stipulate how many games they play or how many practices they will endure. The players get “game checks” based on their contracts…they are not paid by the game/snap/practice, etc. They agree to play football for the team and that includes all the activities that are a part of keeping them in shape and skilled enough to comply with their agreement.

  30. Nosredna says: Aug 26, 2010 12:00 PM

    Simply put, the coaches and players make more money in a year than 90% of the fans and most likely 99% of those that post here.
    Absolutely no reason that they should get months off at any given time. If the coaches/league says to be at a certain place at a certain time, the players should be saying “Yes sir” and be there.
    There is not a single player, down to the scrubs that is actually worth what they are being paid. They should be happy they get what they do and STFU!!

  31. Old School says: Aug 26, 2010 12:12 PM

    Per diem and 5 star catered meals? There must be a human rights violation there somewhere.
    These whiney dopes should try 3, 4, 5, or more deployments to try to save a bunch people in some God forsaken country from themselves.
    If football is so physically demanding, how about, “join the army and never see the United States again until your children are in high school”?????

  32. The Black Cat says: Aug 26, 2010 12:16 PM

    I googled Favre and it sent me here.

  33. Pier588 says: Aug 26, 2010 12:34 PM

    NiceFellow – Thanks for serving us. I too am retired; from U.S. Army – where I had the same opportunities as yourself to live and work in extreme conditions all over the world.
    You didn’t mention how long your pro football career was either. Which brings up the question – how do you KNOW what kind of “physical toll it (pro football) takes on your body”?
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion – whether they agree with you or not.

  34. PackAttackBackMan says: Aug 26, 2010 12:40 PM

    Yes, these athletes are overpaid, but so are all entertainers. With that said, I can’t throw a ball like Peyton Manning or run a route like Jerry Rice. How many of you guys can? They have been blessed with a special skill and get paid so much because they are elite at what they do.
    BTW, i do not like the idea of expanding the season one bit. The wear and tear on their bodies is already too high and a longer season means more chance of injuries. Which in turn means players might “dog it” more than ever when playing meaningless games at the end of the season. Think about it, some teams are out of it by week 10. So that means they have 9 more weeks (bye week) of playing football trying not to get hurt.
    We as fans will be getting cheated and i honestly do not see anything positive about expanding the season.

  35. superb owl says: Aug 26, 2010 12:54 PM

    the nfl should issue each player a box of binkys to get them thru an 18 game season.

  36. edgy1957 says: Aug 26, 2010 1:00 PM

    I think it’s funny how jealous people begrudge the players the same rights that they cry about every day. You scream about how they should feel lucky just to have a job and begrudge them wanting a little time off and yet, if you were denied a chance to take the vacation that you felt that you earned with all your hard work, you’d be screaming bloody murder.
    Like it or not, these guys take a level of abuse that you can never understand, even if you played high school ball. Sure, you probably had a week or so of hell before school started but once it did, you didn’t spend 6 to 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, practicing or going over film for months at a time and that’s after spending 5 or 6 weeks of practicing in the hot sun for preseason.
    A college athlete might have more of a clue but he’s coddled when compared to the professionals (and that’s a fact, jack). These guys spend most of their year playing hard and taking hits that most of you can only imagine and will never experience and despite what many of you think, the majority don’t make millions a year and they don’t retire with millions in pensions or get millions for their pain and suffering that will last them a lifetime.
    The two extra games do mean a lot more in hardship for the players and if you don’t think so, remember that after they expanded to 16 games, they have expanded the rosters because it meant that more players were getting hurt over the long haul and they expanded them even more over the years (or do you think that the owners like playing guys money for sitting on the bench?).
    When these guys leave the game, they have a higher incidence of pain and suffering than the general population and their long term care ends up falling outside of the NFL because the owners won’t help them and the players feel that it’s the owners responsibility (and I agree with them). Adding 2 more games is going to add to their pain and suffering and frankly, will water down the final two games because either the players won’t be at their best or their second or third team back ups will be taking their place. People whine about paying full price for watching grocery baggers in the preseason, why should it be any different just because the game counts? I didn’t watch the replacement games in 1987 because I didn’t want to watch the owners try to make chicken salad out of chicken shit and I don’t want to see the same thing happen with an 18 game schedule.

  37. jediwrstlr says: Aug 26, 2010 1:49 PM

    AWWW, 2 more games and they should get paid MORE???? Uh, how about your being paid millions for a season…….no matter how many GAMES are played, whats the difference if they play two more regular season games and two less pre-season, still the same amount of games.

  38. SayItAin'tSoFlorio says: Aug 26, 2010 1:53 PM

    Mike Florio says: “There are a couple of potential problems with this approach. For starters, coaches like the current schedule, not just because it gives the teams plenty of offseason access to players, but because it provides coaches with a full month to shut down and get away before the training-camp grind begins. Even if the players won’t be showing up until the middle of May, coaches will be grinding in February, March, and April, due to free agency and the draft. Thus, the new schedule would reduce the coaches’ vacation time.”
    Theoretically, training camps would start two weeks later than they do now (based on the assumption that the NFL regular season won’t start before Labor Day). Therefore, the coaches would be able to enjoy as much, or nearly as much, vacation time as they do currently.

  39. U_R_Simple says: Aug 26, 2010 2:18 PM

    All players know the risks before they enter the sport…I love how people who know jack shyte about being a player try and stick up for them…how about this then morons, stick up for military personnel, firemen, police officers, and all of the like professions since there is a higher probability that they could DIE…probably while serving one of you ingrates.
    Give me a flippin break, 2 more games and damn fans are crying for the players…stop bitching and enjoy the longer season.
    GFY

  40. nicefellow31 says: Aug 26, 2010 2:22 PM

    One more story about the physical toll of football.
    http://nflretirees.blogspot.com/2010/07/18-game-nfl-season-idea-pains-pro.html

  41. madmike says: Aug 26, 2010 2:32 PM

    Too many jealous dummies on the internets these days. nicefellow31, your example of the military is terrible. I was in the military, and I know that’s a dumb example. The huge difference between what I did and what athletes do, is that nobody wants to watch me and the other military guys on TV every Sunday. Nobody gets in their cars and drives an hour to watch the military train. Nobody is willing to pay $65 a ticket to watch the military drill, or conduct an operation. And that extends to other jobs where people can get injured. Nobody wants to head over to their buddies house to get together with the guys and watch you stamp out sheet metal down at the factory. These athletes have a rare skill that millions want to watch. They don’t have a very wide window to capitalize on it, and while some players do make millions, many players on the roster do not. And that money has to last them as lomg as possible, and maybe they can use it to buy a car dealership or something that will be their job for the rest of their non-football lives. It takes time to recover from the beating these guys take so they deserve the time away from the game to heal and get healthy again. Your job doesn’t relate, unless you’d like to argue that 300 pounders dive at your knees while you’re standing at the cofeee machine in the break room. Get real folks.

  42. Wellsee says: Aug 26, 2010 2:36 PM

    If there is a rookie wage scale in place, they can report on the Monday after the drawn out Draftapolooza.

  43. sportsman says: Aug 26, 2010 4:17 PM

    They don’t call it the NFL (National Farve League) for no reason!
    Show me the money!!!

  44. edgy1957 says: Aug 26, 2010 8:24 PM

    U_R_Simple says:
    All players know the risks before they enter the
    *****************
    9 1/2 years in the military so GFY, tool.

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