Gilbert advocates 18-game season in his closing remarks

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The nine candidates for the position of NFLPA executive director have begun delivering 15-minute closing arguments to the 32 men who’ll eventually re-elect DeMaurice Smith or elect his replacement.  Sean Gilbert, the first man to make his intent to fight Smith known, has provided a hard copy of his comments to the media.

Gilbert, whose platform lists expansion of the regular season merely as a “potential ‘carrot,'” pushed more directly for an 18-game season, claiming that it’s worth $3 billion to $4 billion per year in extra revenue — or another $46 million to $62 million per year in cap space per team.

Those numbers at first blush seem overly optimistic.  But even if they’re accurate or conservative, the players previously have made clear their lack of interest in playing two more regular-season games.

Gilbert also claims that the owners will take “another $10 billion” from the players if they don’t agree to expand the season, but the remarks contain no elaboration on the basis for his belief.

As a practical matter, this position hinges Gilbert’s candidacy on not just the willingness but the affirmative desire of the representatives to add two regular-season games.  In the past, few if any players have expressed interest in such an approach.

52 responses to “Gilbert advocates 18-game season in his closing remarks

  1. Let’s hope Gilbert loses, as the fans are the like the players: No more than 16 games.

    After we kibosh the bad idea of adding more games, then we’ll stop the addition playoff games and playoff teams.

    Leave all and well alone.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  2. Get rid of two of those irritating “preseason” games by adding them to the regular season, thus turning them into games that actually matter. Fans hate paying full prices for tickets to “exhibition” games, so it would be a good PR move as well. Players will still engage in the same number of games, only there’ll be two less preseason games. Believe me, no one (other than, perhaps, the coaches) will miss the two preseason games, and the NFL will be able to have eighteen regular season games that actually mean something. Problem solved.

  3. Look, I love football. I love football a lot, and I miss it dearly.

    But 18 games is too much man. Thats equivalent to 1.5 college football seasons, give these dudes a break, jeez.

  4. I love football more than pins coladas and getting caught in the rain…but please, any more games and these players will end up being carted off straight to the ER or the morgue in record numbers…

  5. Anyone that really wants to help these players should be all about teaching them how to invest their money. Too many players are ending up broke, regardless of how much money they make.
    Sean Gilbert doesn’t sound like a guy I’d want to take financial advice from.

  6. I love football outside side of my kids anything football comes next.

    With that being said 16 game season is perfect. I would love to see a 24 game season but know this would not lead to the quality of football we have been fortunate to be seeing.

    Also I am against expanding the playoffs.

  7. If you’re going to add two more games, you’d better take the full rosters from 53 to about 60 and increase the weekly “actives” from 45 to about 55. Then you might just have enough healthy bodies to play an 18-game season. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a mass of barely walking wounded limping to the conclusion of an 18-game regular season.

  8. He’s a mix of Johnny Cochrane, Al Sharpton & Jesse Jackson. Lordy, Lordy keep him out of office!!

  9. Mark Cuban is right, this whole thing is getting out of control. All these commercials etc…it will catch up with them. And now an 18 game season…..”c’mon man”

  10. Nothing would be better than having playoffs on the line in “week 17” with QBs like Austin Davis, Ryan Lindley, Scott Tolzein, Case Keenum, and Thad Lewis all playing. That’s what would happen. Lets put the 18 games to bed once and for all.

  11. An 18-game season would solve the scheduling problems the NFL has regarding wild card teams. Play everyone in your division twice, and everyone else in your conference once. No more deciding who gets the last AFC wild card spot because the schedule said they got to play the NFC South this year.

  12. lol, Sean Gilbert is high. Drug test that man! I am sure Gilbert wouldnt want a 18 game season if h were still playing. Funny how soon they forget. Im guessing he wasnt business major either.

  13. If NFL goes to 18 games schedule, two preseason games should be for veterans and top players who are on team the other 2 should be for practice squad, players trying to make the cut, rookies and UDRFA. That is the only way i see it can work.

  14. Why the hell does the NFL and others want to tinker with what we have? As it stands, the NFL is clearly the most popular sport in this country. People love it. There’s no need to change it. Aren’t the league and owners already making enough money?

  15. If they go to an 18-game schedule, why not say that each player can not play more than 16 games… Not only will this keep players healthier having to sit out 2 games a season (if they did get hurt and its a 2 week injury, they’d still get in 16 games – otherwise teams would have to strategize when to have a player sit)… This would also allow for stats to still be based on a player playing 16 games a season, although it would be over 18 weeks… Sounds like the best compromise to me!

  16. As bad as D Smith is (and he is), let’s hope the players aren’t stupid enough to elect this moron as their “leader”

  17. I thought Gilbert cared about player safety and then he goes and pulls the 18 game card. All he sees are dollar signs. He’s no better than the greedy owners.

  18. Question for PFT, did any of the other guys ever talk. I am interested in what the other 8 guys have been saying, or has Gilbert been the only guy to say something publicly, All I know is PFT has given Gilbert a free mic here while the other are no where to be found , at least on these boards.

  19. What a moron. I mean, it would be awesome if we could have, say, 64 NFL games a season to satiate our appetite for football, but any sensible person realizes this sport is just too physically brutal to sustain that long. An 18 game season would have even more watered down quality as teams desperately bring in practice squadders and UDFAs to round out their roster late in the season.

  20. @v2787
    Your argument holds no water.
    1) Preseason games currently are typically not played by many of the eventual starters. At least not very much. So, risk is minimal currently in terms of injury.
    2) if you make them regular season games then they WILL be played by starting players, with less peparation and fitness leading to likely MORE injuries.
    3) While the fans may see preseason games as “meaningless” they are certainly not for coaches who are still evaluating talent and installing schemes.

    The “get rid of preseason” argument is totally without merit.

  21. I’m fine with an 18 week schedule with 16 games. Add a bye week. Another week for national TV games – where the $ is.

  22. Keep it at 16, but add an extra bye week per team making it 2 byes a year. That would extend the regular season for added TV revenue, let us play fantasy football an extra week, and help preserve the player’s health.

  23. If they do 18 games there is no reason to have 4 preseason games. 2 games max… but then they need to expand the rosters … 53 they should carry 60 and 11 practice squads

  24. The problem with removing 2 preseason games is the players are rusty and the new players not ready. Those first two games would be crappy quality.

    Here is an easy way to make money for the NFL – add another bye week.
    Then a team would get a bye before a Thursday night game. – This would make the Thursday night games better as there is more practice time.
    – Players would get more time to recover between games.
    – the NFL/players would make more money for TV rights, without anyone getting hurt or the product being watered down

  25. If it’s really about safety why not shorten the season? I could always use more football but I don’t think the season needs to go longer.

    Is this just a push to get the super bowl into better weather?

  26. 18 games, OK with following

    no pre-season games
    extra bye week
    60 man roster, with 2 player/coaches extra
    all players must set out 2 games
    2 free moves from larger practice squad weekly
    all refs and all TV people must set out 2 games
    increased player salary
    20% player salary must be for retirement
    playoffs stay same number of teams
    Thursday games must be after bye week
    London games must be before bye week
    Padding on outside of helmet added.

  27. If they are opening up the idea of an 18 game season, then the first 2 games of the season would be swapped for the preseason games and should be “open roster” to allow the coaches to dress 75-80 players (I also like the idea of another bye). That way they get to see who’s worth a jersey and who should not be eligible for the game-day when the fat gets trimmed around week 3. They should also allow a full roster to be 60 players, to accommodate for backups in injury situations. 45 players on game day often leaves coaches strapped at certain positions when injuries occur (as they do) at a higher rate in the beginning of the season in the current format, and can really spell difficulty for teams that is often out of their control.

  28. Everyone is missing the proposition… it’s no different than what the NFL office has floated….

    Yes, there would be 18 regular season games, but exhibition games would drop from 4 to 2.

    There would still be 20 total games played by teams each year.

    But the change of 2 games from exhibition to regular season would result in a major boost in NFL revenue which would in return cause a major bump in the salary cap and therefore player paychecks.

    The reality, is that for a lot of players, the increase in pay is something they would view favorably over the playing of two exhibition games. Of which…. they arent paid.

    Players are paid, currently, 16 game checks. Playoff teams get an additional check for each week they are in, based off the playoff pool.

    There is sense for everyone there to go to a 2 exhibition 18 regular season schedule.

    As for the guy above that said, fine, just cut down the commercials>…..

    That will NEVER happen. The reality, is the way the NFL has billion dollar television deals is because McDonalds and other national brands are willing to pay 10’s of millions a year to advertise in NFL games.

  29. So majority of the players already have 20 games a year going (4 pre-season) and 16 regular season (+ more if post season), but they are against changing 2 of the games from meaningless to counting? It has very little impact on them and more on the fans. The ones who buy tickets or pay to watch games because players then have to put in effort……..

  30. My platform as player rep if we have an 18 game season;

    Expand roster size to 63.
    Expand cap number.
    Each team gets 2 byes, plus the league gets a bye week after week 9.

    3 preseason games, but one game is a situational practice game ( gets 5 ten play sessions, one is red zone, one is run plays, one is pass plays, one is ran with chains, and last one special teams).

    Get players back in the 80’s shoulder pads, knee pads, thigh pads, etc and away from all these smaller (yet quicker playing) padding.

  31. They should play an 18 game Regular Season and a 2 game Preseason. That way us NFL Season Ticket Holders will be getting for value for our purchase instead of being ripped off by paying “full price” for 4 Preseason Games!

  32. The reason the NFL is so much more popular than the NBA, MLB, or NHL is because it’s a limited product. With a 16 game season instead of 82 or 162, people don’t take it for granted like they do other sports, so they watch it while they can.

    Leave it the way it is.

  33. So, even if they DO get 18 games…(I don’t think they will) when will it become twenty games with 3 bye weeks? Never underestimate the power of greed.

  34. “Get rid of two of those irritating “preseason” games by adding them to the regular season, thus turning them into games that actually matter.”

    They already matter. If the preseason is reduced to just 2 games coaches do not have enough time to install their systems.

    Any team with a new coaching staff is totally screwed and that team can expect a horrible season. The teams need 4 preseason games for proper roster evaluation and to teach the rookies and players new to their systems.

    What you’ll get is 2 games almost as bad as preseason ones and a lot more injuries. So no, absolutely do not make changes to what is already working so well.

  35. theparadoxx82 says:
    Mar 15, 2015 10:48 PM
    When I see a struggling, injury-ridden wild card team turn down the playoffs, I’ll buy the “player safety” argument.
    They should do a study to see how many injuries are sustained in the playoffs, compared to the regular season. This should take into account injuries sustained by players who were playing hurt near the end of the season.

  36. so, are the owners going pay the players for an extra two games out of their own pockets?
    will they raise ticket prices an extra 12.5% to make up the difference?
    or are the players expected to work the extra two weeks for free?

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