NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell knows the quality of play in the preseason stinks.
“When I go around to fans, that’s maybe the No. 1 thing I hear,” Goodell said, via Bob Glauber of Newsday. “The NFL should do things to the highest possible standards. Preseason games are not that.”
Goodell said he thinks the NFL could reduce the preseason schedule from four games to three and not lose anything.
“There’s value to them, building a team, evaluating players,” he said. “But there are other ways of doing that. I think we could do it in three [games]. Almost every coach has agreed we could get done what we need to in three games.”
The question is whether Goodell will try to push the players to accept a longer regular season in exchange for a shorter preseason. He indicated that any change to the schedule would be negotiated with the players, and not simply determined by the league.
“Any change in the [overall game] structure, we said that we would collectively bargain,” he said.
Many players would be on board with a shorter preseason. But if Goodell wants a longer regular season or some other concession in exchange for a shorter preseason, that could lead to a battle with the players.