Shortly after he was elected president of the players’ union, Eric Winston made clear that he’ll never accept an 18-game season.
Asked about expanding the schedule from 16 games to 18 games, Winston said that isn’t even something the NFL Players Association is willing to entertain.
“I can tell you 16 to 18’s dead in the water. I won’t let it happen. I don’t think any of these other guys are going to let it happen. It’s a safety issue,” Winston told USA Today.
Under the old Collective Bargaining Agreement, the owners had the unilateral authority to expand the regular season without the players’ consent. But under the new CBA established after the lockout of 2011, the players won the authority to reject any expansion of the regular season. And the players plan to exercise that.
The owners, however, are widely expected to expand the playoffs following the 2015 regular season, and Winston indicated that the players can accept that. If the NFL is going to add games, it’s going to add two playoff games. Not 32 regular-season games.