Smith sounds skeptical of 18-game season

If the NFL owners want to expand the regular season to 18 games, they’re going to have some work to do convincing the players to go along with the plan.

“No one has talked about putting that proposal on the table,” NFL Players’ Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith told Charles Chandler of the Charlotte Observer. “We haven’t seen it.”

Smith said he’s concerned about the effects of two extra games on players’ health, and that he’d want to add an extra bye week during the regular season and cut down on players’ offseason responsibilities if players are going to play two more games. Smith also said he’d like to make it easier for players to qualify for health care coverage after retirement.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has suggested that the league could reduce the preseason schedule from four games to two while expanding the regular-season schedule from 16 games to 18, and therefore add more meaningful football without playing more games.

Right now, it sounds like the players’ union doesn’t think much of that plan.

42 responses to “Smith sounds skeptical of 18-game season

  1. DeMo wants to eliminate the extended playoff system and go to something similar to college football’s BCS Bowl game instead.

  2. yeah, Smith sounds skeptical but it’s the writer Smith and not the NFLPA Smith. Demaurice clearly said no such proposal has been put on the table – he did not say he didn’t think much of it. Try a little reading comprehension, Michael.

  3. This is a crazy idea… Now i know Football is America’s new sport and it has no reason to worry about losing ratings to MLB but why not have every team have a bye week the same sunday/monday as the world series is played? it usually falls around week 8 or 9 which is perfect therefore no team gets a bye in week 4 or 5

  4. The NFL does not compromise with anybody.
    Just ask folks who have Time Warner for television.
    If Roger Goodell wants 2 more games, he’ll get it, and Smith will have to go **** himself on his demands unless Roger thinks it’s worthwhile.
    Futhermore if you think the NFL is going to bend over and give any bit of their money away and by that I mean owners and the league, the players are in for a rude awakening.
    There will be a strike unless the players bend over and take it hard
    Just ask the paying cable fans how it was to lose the NFL network, and why dont you call Time Warner and get the BS line “we’re working on it”

  5. I would think you would have to expand the Rosters, maybe make all 53 players eligible or something like that.

  6. I would think you would have to expand the Rosters, maybe make all 53 players eligible or something like that.

  7. I would guess you would have to expand the Rosters, maybe make all 53 players eligible on game day.

  8. I have no interest in anything De Smith says that’s not related to finishing a deal for post-2010 NFL.

  9. Four pre-season games are definitely too many. One home game and one away game is plenty…especially since we have to pay full price for a glorified scrimmage where the starters don’t even play for more than one series

  10. What does Goodell care, players are expendable units to guy like him anyway.

  11. If there is some good that Goodell could do for the sport, it is expanding the regular season and cutting down the preseason. I understand the health concerns for players, but playing in the National Football League is a risk to begin with. I believe that fans deserve more than 16 games (excluding playoffs and preseason). One month of pre-season is about two weeks too long.

  12. GOOD! This is an asinine idea and has been from the start! The only fans that truly want it are the do-nothing teams like Detroit and St Louis. It’s hard enough keeping players on the field these days for 16 games and your going to add 2 more. Also, remember that everyone’s salary will go up significantly due to beings aked to work 2 more games their contract did not originally call for!

  13. As it is the Playoffs are as much about “whos healthiest” as they are “whos best”. imagine a week 19 injury report… No thanks. 4 preseason games suck but playoffs with skeleton crew rosters is even worse.

  14. God why won’t this DeMO, dummy, Smith just die already!!!!! He’s NOT good for game!! Players, vote this POS out of the union!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. i think 18 is to many.
    i love football, i have a problem…
    i want football on 24/7
    but 18 games…its to much.
    its hard enough on the players as it is.
    people complain about preseason, then dont watch and dont go. its a great time for the rookies to show what they got! coaches dont even come close to having to win OR play their starters.
    4 is perfect. id like to see 17 games

  16. I see no value to the fans by expanding the regular season. Right now with 32 teams in 8 divisions, 16 games is a perfect number from viewpoint of scheduling and rotation of divisions playing each other.
    Even if they took away 2 preseason games I don’t like the idea at all. And Smith’s suggestion of throwing in a 2nd bye makes sense for players, but I hate that thought intensely.

  17. Thumbs down on the 18-game season.
    Why would you throw all of those season records out the window?
    *record set when the NFL only had a 16-game season

  18. Ravenmuscle is correct. Do not increase the number of games in a season just make the third and fourth games count. As it stands every team plays 20 games. some are lucky enough to play 23. The steelers played 24 total games the year they won the title in Tampa.
    Do not change that. Just make them count for something.
    then allow the 53 man roster to to increase to 58 and we are all good.

  19. I hope this happens for a couple of reasons:
    1) The NFL would have to expand the roster(Some of my favorite ‘fringe’ players would still be on the team.
    2) HOPEFULLY, the NFL would add another round to the NFL Draft! I WANT MORE DRAFT!!!!!

  20. Goodell’s theory that two more regular season games and two fewer preseason games is a wash for NFL players is ridiculous. In August players that don’t even make the week one roster get just as much playing time as starters, and both get less playing time than backups and special teamers.
    Two more real games is that much more wear and tear for an NFL player; it would likely reduce the average NFL career by a year. The NFLPA is right to expect a corresponding increase in wages for its union members if this is being considered. The NFL would make far more in TV rights for two regular season games than they would for two preseason games, plus the NFL will make more on increased concession sales as stadiums will have higher attendance for real games.
    While Goodell says fans will win by getting two better games, what about the product at the end of the year? How many playoffs will be determined by injuries and backups rather than starters? At some point the quality of play will deteriorate, and that will happen at the worst possible time – the playoffs.
    I love watching football and could greedily endorse a longer season, but I just don’t think it’s realistic to expect these player’s bodies to hold up to a longer season. I also wonder if the owners truly want this. Right now they get to charge full price for preseason games, while not paying their players – a very profitable equation.

  21. I don’t think 18 games is too much. For one, it would make it easier for the players to negotiate higher contracts, for the increased workload. Second, preseason is useless anyway. Most of the guys that play in these games get cut. Thirdly, it would make scheduling easier. Instead of the two “random” teams each team has on their schedule, they could just throw another division in it.

  22. If we were to –
    1 – Make no change to players’ offseason responsibilities, BUT
    2 – Reduce preseason from 4 games to 2 –
    3 – Add 2 more games to regular season schedule, changing from 16 to 18, AND
    4 – Make it easier for players to qualify for health care coverage after retirement –
    It seems to me we’d have
    1 – more fun for the fans
    2 – more money for the players
    3 – more money for the owners
    4 – more prestige, more money, & more brand
    strength for the League
    5 – greater protection for players after their playing days
    6 – fewer of the preseason games the players have in the past purported to HATE
    7 – a reasonable compromise between “management & labor” that should satisfy the League & the Union without causing either to lose face
    8 – essentially the same season length (I think).
    9 – no hugely significant increase in players’ workloads, while they’d be getting not only two more paychecks, but also two more chances to better their stats, set themselves up for awards, records, raises, etc.
    NEGATIVELY, there would be
    1 – a significant increase in the workloads of the coaching staff, which could result in more bleary-eyed coaches fielding 12 men at godawful times –
    2 – more difficulties finding qualified, consistent, fair officials
    3 – maybe the competition level of preseason vs. real games would be a significant issue for the players, because –
    4 – the risk of injury is obviously greater in all-out games than it is in preseason when some teams don’t even play The Big Guns.
    5 – maybe more potential for contract issues, off-the-field shenanigans, holdouts, locker room subversives, and precinct station visits.
    The issue is obviously complicated but it doesn’t sound as if it’s beyond the possibility of resolution. Surely there’s some way to compromise and make everybody relatively happy. Isn’t there?

  23. Here’s a crazy idea– go to 16 regular season games and cut preseason games to two. Get rid of the bye week, but have the NFC play on odd weekends and the AFC play on even weekends…a 32 week regular season
    Double the length of the football season, give players two weeks to recover from games and to prepare for the next one.
    Union is happy because there’s fewer games. Fans are happy because they get to see twice as many games per year. Teams are happy because players stay in shape, out of trouble and get a lot smarter because they’re with the team all but 3 1/2 months in summer (mid-May through August).

  24. I am convinced in the very near future the NFL schedule will be comprised of 2 pre-season games & 18 regular season games plus the playoffs. I believe that Mr. Smith is also convinced of this, but just like everything else he is angled to get concessions in return for his willing cooperation. If he over plays his hand, he may get nothing. Given the fact that the players already have agreed to 20 games (and their salaries are season based not game based), the league could likely just implement the change without union consent. Of course the union would challenge the legality, but I think the league would prevail. Even if they don’t it would be a PR disaster for the union with the fans!
    And the most important part is that 2 more regular season games = larger TV contracts!!! Which means more money for owners and players (regardless of how it gets divided).

  25. Colts, Patriots and Steelers have been playing an average of 18 games/year for the last decade.
    Teams like the jets…will be big adjustment.

  26. It’s a crap idea thought up by a bunch of business people not football fans. This is something the players should not budge an inch on.

  27. I think it’s only fair that if the owners are asking the season ticket holders to pay full price for pre-season tickets then the games should either count or not be played. We all know they are not lowering the ticket prices.

  28. The end of the season is basically unmeaningful as it is… Wouldn’t this just add to more meaningless games?

  29. I’m for zero “practice games”. If they charge real money to get in the stadium – all the games should count – no more fake football!
    Make the first 3 games and last 3 against your division with all that time in between against the rest of the league to sink or swim.
    Injuries – they’re a part of the players chosen profession not to mention when they occur, they give plenty of other players an opportunity.
    Do what ever with the roster sizes – long as there is no more fake football for real money.

  30. Hail2ThaRedskins says:
    Given the fact that the players already have agreed to 20 games (and their salaries are season based not game based), the league could likely just implement the change without union consent.
    Hate to tell you this but you’re wrong. The players get paid for THREE seasons: pre, regular and post. If the league takes away two preseason games, it would mean that the players would want more money for the two extra games, as they don’t make any where near their regular season salary for the preseason. Veterans get $1225 PER WEEK and $200 per preseason game while rookies get $825 PER WEEK.
    The owners actually LOVE the preseason because it’s all bonus money for them because they charge full price and pay almost nothing to each of the players. While I’m sure that they would LOVE to add two more games to the regular season and take them overseas and screw the players by dividing their salaries by 19 weeks instead of the 17 they do now, the players aren’t going to let that happen.

  31. 18 games is the bad idea. The CFL made this switch in the mid 80s and it’s resulted in more injuries (hamstrings in particular) and offenses that start out even further behind defenses than they already do.
    Like everyone else who posts here, I don’t like four preseason games either, but two is one too few to get teams in game shape and sort out the bottom half of the roster. So let’s meet in the middle.
    17 regular season games and 3 pre-season games. Which ever conference gets the extra pre season game gets eight regular season home games while the team with one pre season home game gets nine regular season home games. Rotate that annually.
    The players aren’t putting in that much additional effort. The total number of games don’t change.
    The coaching staffs get the right number of games to work out the bottom half of the roster.
    Fans bitch less about paying regular season prices for pre-season games.
    Owners gain an extra regular season game and the corresponding revenue every other year.
    Hell, the calendar doesn’t even change dramatically.
    The value of the television contract goes up because there are more regular season games.
    17 and 3.

  32. I’m really not interested in what the players say. God will make more.
    Hello UFL.
    However, you don’t need to add games to add weeks. What we want is a longer season. Doesn’t mean you need more games. Just have each team get two byes and make the season longer. And then the Super Bowl can be played on the Sunday before President’s Day.
    The players won’t be able to say crap when they get an extra week off while playing the same amount of games.
    And if so, cut them. Cut them all! And start over.

  33. Everyone knows this is the key to the whole lock out thing.
    All that needs to happen, instead of an 18% roll back in the cap, you add two games and the players make about the same as before. If this isn’t agreed to, it will be long and ugly.

  34. The season is already long enough for crying out loud
    18 games? Why? The league already makes way too much money and everyone is happy with 16 games
    Stop ruining what is successful

  35. edgy1957,
    I am NOT wrong! You might want to do a little more research. The players are given token per game compensation for pre-season and playoff games. Which is basically a stipend and not a salary. But their contracted salaries are not per-game based, they are for the entire season (and even off-season). The allocations in CBA to fund player salaries are a % of total revenues (i believe around 60%). By the way those total revenues that are included do include pre-season and post-season revenues. So, if the league decides to increase from 16 to 18 regular season games – the players share of the total revenues grows right along with the owners.

  36. Why would any fan not support two more regular season games while getting rid of half of the exhibition scams? It defies logic.

  37. Mista T says:
    Why would any fan not support two more regular season games while getting rid of half of the exhibition scams? It defies logic.
    Then why stop at 18 games?
    Based on your logic we fans should support a twenty game schedule with no preseason games. In fact, why stop at twenty? Let’s make the season thirty or forty games long.
    Sure, as a fan I want to see more regular season games, but the reality is that every additional real game results in more injuries, more players performing at not just less than 100% but further and further away from 100%. The longer the season goes, the more games – especially playoff games – are determined by injuries and backups, while fewer and fewer are determined by the league’s best players.
    It’s not quite as simple as changing two games from preseason to regular season and expecting zero side effects.

  38. How bout going with 17 game season? I think one more game would work. Play 8 games in L.A. and have that market covered and the other 8 games overseas or neutral sites in the U.S. Still gives teams 3 game to evaluate new talent in preseason and games in L.A. , Toronto, Oklahoma, Mexico, …

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