At an ownership meeting in 2010, Commissioner Roger Goodell said that an 18-game season could be utilized in 2012.
It’s 2012, and there’s still no 18-game season. So what gives?
“We haven’t discussed that in a while,” Goodell told reporters Wednesday, as the 2012 annual meetings concluded. “I have said on several occasions that I think we are going to have to go through this offseason cycle and try to see what the negotiated offseason cycle is like, the impact it has on the game, the impact it has on the individual players and then we’ll sit down and probably will be discussing it later this year or early next year.”
Last month, Goodell dusted off the case for shrinking the preseason and expanding the regular season. “People want more football,” Goodell said. “I think they want less preseason and more regular season and that’s the concept we are talking about here.”
In a poll posted at the time, a surprising plurality of you agreed, with nearly 40 percent favoring the 18-and-2 concept. Roughly 34 percent preferred two preseason games and 16 regular-season games.
In the last CBA, the league had the unilateral right to expand the regular season without reducing the preseason. Now, the NFL has retained only the ability to slash the preseason in half — and many believe the league will eventually use that power to squeeze the players into agreeing to likewise add a pair of regular-season games.
Maybe the NFL can also extract that promise when trying to help the NFLPA pump up the salary cap to a higher number, like the league did this year when somehow securing the union’s consent to take $46 million in cap space from teams who spend it and redistribute the amount to 28 other teams, many of whom won’t.