Goodell says 18-game season hasn’t been discussed “in a while”

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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.

31 responses to “Goodell says 18-game season hasn’t been discussed “in a while”

  1. How about a 17 game season?

    Goal: To add one more game and one more bye week for a 17 game, 19 week NFL regular season

    Each team gets 8 home games, 8 away games, 1 neutral site game, and 2 bye weeks per year.
    Result: Win-Win-Win for Players, Owners, Fans

    Players get an extra bye week and two weeks of TV money for playing one additional game per year. Owners get two additional weeks of TV money, a guarantee of 8 home games, and much greater flexibility developing markets using neutral games. Fans get two extra weeks of football per year, a guarantee of 8 home games, an additional game of their favorite team, and the chance to see their favorite team in (hopefully) a desirable neutral location.

    Neutral site games: 16 games to work with each season, split between goodwill, fan loyalty, and market development opportunities

    Goodwill opportunities: A new “Military Appreciation” game where the game is actually played on base for our service men and women. Economic development/recovery games will include match ups like Kansas City vs. St Louis in tornado ravaged Joplin, Missouri. Regardless of the challenge, the NFL has the power to heal and recover. Teams owe it to their communities to pitch in during hard times, and this is one more conduit.

    Fan Loyalty Opportunities: Imagine a Green Bay/Chicago regular season match up in Miami, lets combine a beach vacation with a divisional game. How about a Tampa Bay/Miami game in Denver in December, lets combine a ski trip with a football game! Interesting possibilities here. I’m thinking about markets like Denver, who is never going to get a chance to host a super bowl. Now we have options for expanding in non-super bowl markets.

    Marketing Development Opportunities: Thinking about expanding into LA? why not have a couple of games there to understand the market? Let’s have two games in London and Toronto every year. There is a lot of flexibility for the owners here

  2. if i HAD to choose between a shorter preseason coupled with the longer regular season as opposed to what we now have, id opt for the former.

    in a perfect world though, i think a shorter preseason and the good old 16 game regular season would be best.

    also, if they are intent on making the season longer, they really need to add about 6 permanent roster spots to each team. heck, with the amount of injuries every year the roster should be expanded now. the cheap owners probably wouldnt go for another 200 permanent roster spots though.

  3. The fans want less preseason and the same amount of regular season. They also want you to stop trying to change the NFL every single day.

  4. Nor will it be discussed ever again. “Officially” it will be due to the leagues concerns over head injuries but we know the truth is due to the lawsuits that are piling up as a result.

    Shame on you NFL. You are full of it

  5. Down the line an increase may be appropriate, but there are enough injuries throughout the year that teams barely resemble themselves Week 17 vs Week 1 now.
    I don’t think people mind preseason games, but rather having to pay full freight to watch a scrimmage.

  6. Well get it back on the table commish, the fans want more football, besides, the deeper the season goes into winter, the more it favors the teams that play outdoors and up north.

    All In…

  7. Neutral site for every team, every year is not going to happen. That requires spending money to rent stadiums, so owners won’t give in.

  8. Goodell has done a poor job on explaining on who these fans are that want what he is proposing. It is season ticket holders and for them its a no brainer. They pay the same for preseason and regular season games so getting one less exhibition at full price and one more real game is a great deal for them. For the most part they can’t get face value for their preseason ticket and it is a complete waste of money.

    We aren’t ever going to get less total games [2 preseason and 16 regular]. In the end the players would shut that right down as well. Less games would mean less revenue and less money in the end for them. You can forget about that notion right now, it ain’t happening.

    The regular fan who just goes to a game or two or even none at all wants the status quo. It ain’t broke to them so why mess with it. I fall in this group as well. We don’t want any more injuries to our team and for me I just like the symmetry of the current 16 game 32 team schedule. I can see years in advance and figure out where my team is playing.

    Even though I fall in the group of don’t mess with it I do understand why the majority of season ticket holders [I am sure some of you will say I spoke to my friend who has tickets and he opposes it but for the most part they aren’t, the NFL is doing their research on this] do want this because their investment has just gained in value. In the end their opinion should hold a little more water because they are paying more for the games. Hope it doesn’t change but I think it will.

  9. Firstly, I don’t agree with the sanctions imposed. However, this article and flood of articles on this subject and site seem to miss the point that this isn’t about spending too much or too little. The teams could spend 400 million dollars if they wanted to, or just 1 million. The key issue is the parties in question structured contracts in a way so that they dumped large amounts of the term into the uncapped year (example: 5yr 50m contract with 49m paid in 2010) after being warned not to do this. Again, I don’t agree that there should have been any warning in the first place in an uncapped year, but PFT is banging a drum blindly about an issue without seeming to understand the issue entirely.

  10. Wake up, commentors.

    The NFL is fighting class action lawsuits related to injuries and you’re OK with a longer season?

    Goodell & co. will be crazy to implement a longer season while this litigation is in process.

    Ergo, more games equals the potential for more injuries.

    Let’s just leave all well and good enough alone.

    Sixteen games is perfect.

  11. ndnut says:
    Mar 28, 2012 5:50 PM
    Neutral site for every team, every year is not going to happen. That requires spending money to rent stadiums, so owners won’t give in.


    Nor should they. They spend too much money to put their team in a market that might only get them on TV a couple of times a year. Also they would be playing in markets that can’t even support a game, if it could they would have a team. Not enough neutral cities in markets big enough to support games.

  12. I like how you continue to prefer to cite the results of your intentionally misleading poll to bolster Goodell’s position that “fans want” 18 regular season games. The issue of the length of the regular season has no rational relationship to the length of the preseason.

    “Fans want”…not to be required to pay full price for four preseason games. The poll was misleading, BTW, because it did not ask fans to express a preference for either a 16 game reg. season or an 18 game reg. season, leaving out preseason entirely.

  13. First thing’s first. Step One: get all NFL games to be as contact/defense-free as the Pro Bowl. Step two: push the 18 game season. Step three: then push the 20 game season. Step four: expansion teams in Micronesia, London, Beijing, and Cape Town.

  14. If I was Danny and Jerrah I would vote against everything that Goodell wanted to institute in the league just to get under his self-righteous skin. DOWN WITH GOODELL!

  15. I already hate the last 2 or 3 weeks of the regular season as it is. There are a couple games each week that might mean something, but a large portion of them are full of bad/boring football with starters on the bench. Do we really want two additional weeks of that?

  16. Tired of having to pay full price for TWO home pre season games every year as part of the season ticket “package.” That’s an issue. They are killing the goose that layed the golden egg. Who will pay their salaries when there are no more season ticket holders?

  17. You’d have to be a damn fool not to want more pro football. 18 real games & 2 fake games for practice is exactly what needs to be implemented.

    18 & 2 get it passed Roger!!!
    We want it.
    It’s the best solution!!!

  18. It would be hypocritical of the league and Goodell to talk about an 18-game season after the exhaustive PR campaign to address head injuries and concussions because playing an additional 2 full regular season games as opposed to 12 snaps in 2 pre-season games at half speed only further advances opportunities for serious injuries, including concussions.

  19. Must be kinda hard to be all proud about the punishments you just hit Sean Payton and the Saints with in the name of “player saftety” all the while you’re still trying to have an 18 game season which will no doubt shave much more time off of player’s careers than any bounty could’ve ever accomplished.

  20. @drumsomeone: Disagree on the type of game the 17th game should be – instead, it should be an interconference game matching up a 1st-place team from a division of one conference vs. a 1st-place team from the other conference, with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th-place teams (from the previous season’s standings) doing the same; even more specifically, the divisions involved should be the ones that played 4 games against each other two years before, and will do so two years after (example, if this was in effect for 2012 the Giants would play the Texans, the Eagles would play the Titans, the Cowboys would play the Jaguars, and the Redskins would play the Colts). Furthermore, one year the AFC gets all the “17th games” at home and the following year the NFC gets all the “17th games” at home; that way, all teams in direct competition with each other for division titles, wild cards or playoff seeds will have played the same number of home games, and the same number of away games.

  21. I said it before and i’ll say it again. More than likely the 18 game season was all a negotiating strategy by the league. It isn’t something they necessarily want to do. It was a way of getting the players to agree to take less money and something thing they would only implement if they couldn’t get the players to come down on there monetary demands. But since the owners are happy with the new CBA they won’t be pressing the issue and thats why there hasn’t been much talk about it.

  22. @drumsomeone

    I have been saying the same exact thing, 3 preseason games and 17 regular season games over 19 weeks with 2 bye weeks. There are many neutral site locations a 17th game could be played (Mexico City, Hawaii, Germany).

    The best part is that they could move the Super Bowl to President’s Day weekend, and then many of us wouldn’t have to go to work the day after.

    Having two extra weeks of football should be a revenue goldmine for the league and the players.

  23. I’m a fan who thinks 2 preseason games and 18 regular season games would be awesome. I hope it gets done, and I think it would be great for the game.

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