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NFL says proposed calendar change is unrelated to 18-game season

Roger Goodell AP

When we noted on Thursday night that the NFL is considering overhauling the offseason calendar to start the Scouting Combine, free agency and the draft later in the year, we wondered aloud whether this move was an attempt to create breathing room for an 18-game regular season, which would necessitate pushing the Super Bowl back from early February to late February.

But the league says an expanded regular season is not one of its goals as it considers reorganizing the offseason: We’re told that the NFL’s position is that the proposed new offseason calendar is unrelated to whether the regular season expands.

The league’s idea for changing the offseason includes moving the Combine back to March, moving the start of free agency back to April, moving the draft back to May, and having all 32 teams start training camp on the same day in either late July or early August. The league may have trouble selling that plan to the NFL Players Association, particularly the part about moving back free agency, which would give players less time to negotiate contracts and less time to move their families if they sign with another team.

The league has also had trouble selling the players on the idea of playing 18 regular-season games. That will likely prove to be an even tougher sell, and it may be something the league brings up only after firming up the offseason calendar.

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35 Responses to “NFL says proposed calendar change is unrelated to 18-game season”
  1. Brad Smith says: Feb 22, 2013 10:44 AM

    NFL under Roger Goodell likes to play magic tricks with decisions. Wave one hand by telling the public it’s for reason while with the other hand do the true purpose.

  2. nyyjetsknicks says: Feb 22, 2013 10:49 AM

    Every time the NFL says the phrase “18 game schedule” they should be fined the same amount as James Harrison’s last fine.

  3. tincansailor981 says: Feb 22, 2013 10:54 AM

    Yeah, right.

  4. nickster31 says: Feb 22, 2013 10:55 AM

    My guess would be to push the Super Bowl to Presidents Day Weekend. That way, a lot of the country wouldn’t have to work the next day.

    Just a guess, but that would work for me.

  5. gromit45 says: Feb 22, 2013 11:00 AM

    And for us fans it would mean a longer period (early Feb to March) of having little meaningful NFL news and making the NFL relevant year round would seem to be a good on the business side of things.

  6. michfan says: Feb 22, 2013 11:01 AM

    Let’s just get it overwith. Expand the rosters by ten guys ( more jobs) and go to 18 games. It’s gonna happen eventually anyway. We love our football, and the 4 game exibition season is a joke as it is!

  7. sb44champs says: Feb 22, 2013 11:05 AM

    NFL ‘cares’ about player safety but desperately wants an 18 game regular season?? Sounds like the NFL really only cares about the bottom line.

  8. deerpathdave says: Feb 22, 2013 11:10 AM

    The league would be better off with an extra week of playoffs rather than two extra weeks of a regular season. Here is how to do it.

    1. Expand to 16 teams in the playoffs. Eliminate the first round bye for the top 4 teams.
    2. Hold the first round of the playoffs over two weekends. Each team effectively gets a bye week.

  9. randyschwimmer7 says: Feb 22, 2013 11:11 AM

    Yeah sure, and I HATE watching NFL football and NEVER read any posts on ProFootballTalk.com….EVER.

  10. chrisknowsdbr says: Feb 22, 2013 11:17 AM

    Oh, now I’m convinced

  11. sloppychimps says: Feb 22, 2013 11:23 AM

    Why does the league feel it has to change something EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR???

  12. packhawk04 says: Feb 22, 2013 11:26 AM

    First, goodell is the mouthpiece of the owners. Owners will make money regardless if its 4 preseason games or 2. There must be 18 regular season games if theres only 2, no way the owners will give away two games worth of tv revenue, ticket sales, concession sales, parking sales, merchandise sales, etc… that comes with those games. The players are too dumb to realize that eliminating two games also brings their salaries down as well. Goodell wants 18 games because the fans want fewer preseason games. Its impossible for him to pull that off and please everyone.

  13. citizenstrange says: Feb 22, 2013 11:26 AM

    nickster31 says:
    Feb 22, 2013 10:55 AM
    My guess would be to push the Super Bowl to Presidents Day Weekend. That way, a lot of the country wouldn’t have to work the next day.

    Just a guess, but that would work for me.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    What he said. With either an 18 game season or expanded playoffs to fill in the extra weeks.

  14. richardmb52 says: Feb 22, 2013 11:36 AM

    Let’s just get the 18 game thing done, I like to watch football so it’s all good to me

  15. jetnotjets says: Feb 22, 2013 11:42 AM

    This just in…the NFL lies.

  16. deerpathdave says: Feb 22, 2013 11:44 AM

    Surprised at all the hate for the playoff expansion idea! Isn’t there always a team or two that doesn’t make the playoffs that deserves a chance? Isn’t the playoff bye for the top 4 teams a huge advantage that should be eliminated to improve competition? Isn’t getting an extra week of playoffs way better than extra regular season? And to get this by only having 8 teams play an extra game rather than 32!

  17. hardrockfootballfanatic says: Feb 22, 2013 11:56 AM

    Some of my opinions may seem radical, but here is what I think the league should consider:

    First, I would eliminate the pre-season down to 2 games. Keep the regular season at 16 games, but have two byes instead of one.

    Next, allow all 53 players on the roster to play and expand halftime back to the old days of 15 minutes. This allows teams time for a little more strategy, a little more halftime entertainment and use the additional three minutes for commerical time, but eliminate commercials right after a kickoff.

    Keep the playoff number the same as it is, don’t expand it any further.

    Lastly, and I don’t know what the answer is but the league needs to concerned about the number of stadiums having to cover seats. While I prefer the pro game to college, the league needs to find a way to add a little more college pizazz to the game day atmosphere. Tickets cost too much for there to be some really boring games during the season.

  18. ironmike778 says: Feb 22, 2013 11:58 AM

    More is NOT better. When will these leagues get it through their thick heads?

  19. tmkelley1 says: Feb 22, 2013 12:02 PM

    Personally, I don’t like the idea of an 18-game season at all. The season is perfect the way it is, basically Labor Day to New Year’s Day. If they want to mess around with the playoffs, fine, but leave the regular season alone.

  20. tjacks7 says: Feb 22, 2013 12:03 PM

    Seems fairly obvious the NFL wants to push everything back to make room for a couple extra games.

  21. completefan says: Feb 22, 2013 12:05 PM

    Still don’t understand the opposition to the 18-game schedule. The CFL has had 18 games since 1990 and there has been no problem with it.

  22. shorttracknews says: Feb 22, 2013 12:16 PM

    Stupid idea to change the off season schedule. Even with the smallest schedule of games for a professional sports league the NFL keeps fans interested pretty much year around. When the Super Bowl ends people are counting the days until free agency. Nobody wants to add another month to that or another month to the draft. The way it is now there is hardly any dead news time. You have the SB, then a couple coaching changes, players start getting cut or tagged and then before you know it free agency starts. I think adding another month will kill it and people will lose interest in off season stuff. Tell Roger to go vacation with that 30 million he made last year instead of sitting home thinking of ways to ruin stuff by making changes every year.

  23. saintspat says: Feb 22, 2013 12:26 PM

    Here’s an idea. Why don’t we play the Super Bowl in July Roger? Have the combine during training camp and the draft on Wednesday night before week 1, and have the draft become a 7 day drag em out travesty. Lets add Tuesday night football for west coast teams starting at 10:30 on the East coast. Lets continue to punish the Saints and fine players for safety, while figuring out how to add more games to the schedule, because you care about safety once the lawsuits started to mount. Why stop at 18 games when we can play 82, or 162.
    Will this guy please resign, he sucks and is ruining the game.

  24. freepretzels says: Feb 22, 2013 12:45 PM

    Uh huh. I believe you.

  25. taintedsaints2009 says: Feb 22, 2013 1:23 PM

    I hate hate hate the idea of toying with the draft. To me the draft can be more exciting than the Super Bowl.

  26. micknangold says: Feb 22, 2013 1:30 PM

    It’s not Goodell’s job to make the game better. It’s his job to make the owner’s even more rich today than they were yesterday, and to make them more rich tomorrow than they are today – and he’s very good at doing that.

  27. dvdman123 says: Feb 22, 2013 1:49 PM

    Lets see we would get 18 regular season games and 2 MEANINGLESS PREASON GAMES games compared to what we have now which is 16 regular season games and 4 MEANINGLESS PREASON GAMES…….it’s no brainer folks. It’s probably the ONLY thing Goodell and I will ever agree on. I say bring on the 18 game schedule. The more pro football the better and anyone who thinks/says otherwise is in denial or lying.

  28. sb44champs says: Feb 22, 2013 1:50 PM

    taintedsaints2009 says:
    Feb 22, 2013 1:23 PM
    I hate hate hate the idea of toying with the draft. To me the draft can be more exciting than the Super Bowl.
    ===========================
    That’s funny, the only fan that likes the draft more than the SB has a screen name like that. lol

  29. godofwine330 says: Feb 22, 2013 1:57 PM

    Sure this has nothing to do with the NFL wanting 18 game seasons. Goodell is full of it.

  30. musicman495 says: Feb 22, 2013 1:59 PM

    I do not trust Goodell in the least, and I personally like having the draft in April. But I do not think it would be a terrible idea to push the off season calendar a couple of weeks to give teams a bit more time after the conclusion of the playoffs to prep for free agency and the draft.

  31. ilovefoolsball says: Feb 22, 2013 2:44 PM

    I don’t believe them.

  32. bobzilla1001 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:00 PM

    I detest preseason games. They are boring.
    But I also realize they are a necessary evil that give coaching staffs the much-needed opportunity to evaluate undrafted players and late-round draft picks.
    Preseason games are NOT meaningless to those on “the bubble.” Only the casual fans and fantasy football geeks could possibly find preseason games to be despensible.
    Preseason games are a part of the journey, which, to real football fans, is much more enjoyable and intense than the destination.

  33. shlort says: Feb 22, 2013 3:03 PM

    That 18 game deal looks good on paper, but will be a huge failure. With some teams shifting to the option based systems, there will be a huge problem keeping these QBs healthy. There is already the issue of these types of QBs not making 16 games. What happens when 18 games start happening? RGIII made it exactly 16 3/4 games in his ROOKIE season. Expect his average to drop a game per year. Same goes for any other QBs who run for more than a couple hundred yards a season. If anything, the NFL should consider shortening the season to 12 games. That way these option guys can really lay claim to being “the future of the NFL”.

  34. stairwayto7 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:23 PM

    Players should be upset twith themselves! They are the ones who agreeded on the deal! This wasa bad union deal to begin with.

  35. croghan1919 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:59 PM

    OK.
    And for all those buying what the NFL is selling here: I have some beautiful ocean front property near Flagstaff, AZ for sale that I’ll let go for a couple K dollars.

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