NFL looking into shrinking preseason

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With the preseason over and the regular season here, it’s easy to forget how much everyone dislikes the games that don’t count. The NFL hasn’t forgotten, and the NFL potentially is planning to do something about it.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL actively is calculating the revenue that would be lost by reducing the preseason by as many as two games.

The league has the unilateral right under the 2011 labor deal to dump up to two preseason games without NFL Players Association consent. However, the NFL no longer has the power to expand the regular season without NFLPA agreement.

If the preseason is reduced, the goal would be to balance out the lost revenue either by increasing the regular season or expanding the postseason. And the objective in calculating the lost revenue could be to entice the union to agree to a plan for recapturing the money, especially since the owners and players now share the wealth on a basis of roughly 50-50.

32 responses to “NFL looking into shrinking preseason

  1. The games that “don’t count” do count a lot for at least some people, and they count most for the players who are trying to win spots on NFL rosters. The four preseason are necessary to give all of the players a chance to make their teams. The games also count to those of us fans who take a lot of interest in finding out who deserves to make it and who doesn’t.

  2. Problem with reduced pre-season is the new CBA doesn’t allow teams to have more than just a few live practices. It would really effect talent evaluations of young players. The NFL should focus on a spring league first then expand rosters to 60 players along with going to 18 regular season games and an added team in each conference to the post season.Do that and it would make sense.

  3. Just leave it, BUT at a reduced price for tickets. Let those who are trying continue to fight for jobs. Also, stop trying to find ways to eventually extend the regular season.

  4. It’s funny how people whine about preseason injuries, and don’t react the same way to Week 1 or Week 2 injuries. What’s the difference?

    There’s a way that the NFL can actually cut one preseason game and still make more money. Go to 3 preseason games, one home, one road and one neutral site game where the clubs split the revenue.

    Having games in Las Vegas, Boise, Louisville, San Antonio, Austin, Alabama, West Virginia, Des Moines, South Carolina etc. would be a great way to build new fans who would watch games on TV and buy merchandise.

  5. What would it really cost the NFL to reduce preseason games to 3 in good faith towards the players union regarding future negotiations?

    Seems minimal in revenue loss, teams still have adequate time to review the bottom of their roster, and it stands by their incremental conservative approach.

    Ease pressure and come out the good guy for once while letting it be known further games mean larger schedule rebalancing.

  6. This will result in that much worse football early in the season.

    Coaches won’t have enough reps for young players to learn a system. And teams with new head coaches and coaching staffs will be really screwed their first year.

    The preseason needs to stay as it is

  7. They should also look into only having 4 bye weeks during the season giving 8 teams off each week starting week 6.

  8. Can we also go back and undo the kickoff distance change? It is so boring and such a waste of time to watch punts sail out of the end zone every time. Line up all those guys, six commercial breaks, walk back off. It’s ten times worse than the extra points being automatic thing that had to be changed so desperately.

  9. Trade away games in exchange for more full pad practices, increased roster sizes and add one more bye week for each team. That way you get more time to evaluate new players on the practice field in live action, more players means more jobs and more bye weeks gives teams a chance \to recoup during the season.

  10. Mark Cuban was right, Goodell and his greedy owners are determined to kill the golden goose.

    Injuries already play to big of a factor in the season. An 18 game season will be a war of attrition. Championships will be won by the healthiest team, not the best team. But if nothing else Goodell has proven an utter disregard for the integrity of the game in his pursuit of profits.

    Goodell is too dense to realize that the biggest threat to the league is over saturation and that he can best maximize the long term health and profitability of the league by just leaving a good thing alone.

  11. It is a good idea to get rid of the games but Goodell and the NFL are all about money. Unless they get 2 regular season games to replace them, it won’t happen. 2 more games is good for the safety of the players in the eyes of Mr. Integrity Roger Goodell!

  12. The only way the league agrees to cut the preseason in half is if the players agree to an 18 game regular season.

    At this point I am cool with more (real) football, not sure if the players will be on board though.

  13. Last week there was talk of a developmental league. Why don’t they just use two pre-season games for developmental type players and rookies? Most teams pretty much know 40 of the 53 players coming into the pre-season.

  14. Totally. Completely. Opposed.

    It’s short sighted and will dilute the product. This is a measure with all the aforethought of the man who killed the goose that laid the golden eggs.

    The nature of the game, the nature of the business of the game, and the nature of coaches (whose jobs depend on success) will – predictably – go with what they know. Players who should be let go will stay 2-3 seasons longer than they should.

    Also predictably, some really good, impact players will never make it. The example I’ll use is Terrelle Davis. He was on the verge of being cut when he made an outstanding play on special teams in the 6th game of preseason. Denver retained him and it worked out pretty well.

    Greed kills everything in its path.

  15. Nobody is really playing football in the preseason anymore, like years ago, so you might as well reduce the number of games. They pull the starters right away.

    The result I think, is that starters are not ready to play in game one. My team (Miami) won ugly today, and it looked like a preaseason game. Everyone was very rusty, and there were a slew of injuries for BOTH teams. Even non contact injuries where you’re running and you pull a hammy, were happening. I just don’t think it’s a good idea for vets to play a few downs, and leave the game, and on the 1st day of the regular season it’s suddenly run full out, extend full out, win or die. I don’t think the body is prepared for that.

  16. “The games also count to those of us fans who take a lot of interest in finding out who deserves to make it and who doesn’t”

    That’s all well and good but the fans don’t get to decide who makes the final rosters. The coaches do. So its a wasted effort if they’re playing two extra games for the fans sake, and even so, I would guess that only a minority of fans like having 4 preseason games. Ask the players who tear ACLs in preseason games if they think that playing those meaningless games is worth it.

  17. Id eliminate pre-season all together. Its a total waste of time. If college teams dont get a pre-season, why should the NFL. Yes i know alot of schools schedule cupcakes, but a lot dont. Alabama v Wisconsin prime example.

    And if you are a coach and you dont know who the 53 best players are then you are a moron.

    Go to 18 regular season games, 2 byes, eliminate Thursday Night games and put on 2 Monday Night games like Week 1 every Monday. Thursday night games are a joke and unfair to the players.

  18. Has the NFL tried to calculate how much revenue is lost when an Arian Foster or a Julius Thomas or an intriguing high draft pick like Kevin White is injured in the preseason? They haven’t, because the players don’t matter, only the games. Because we tune in no matter what. Corporate greed at its purest.

  19. Safety argument is nonsense. As long as there is football there will be injuries. More games aren’t going to make a difference. The CFL, Arena and USFL all play(ed) 18 game reg. seasons w/o this discussion. The players might as well risk injury in meaningful games.

  20. There are so many knowledgeable coaches on this site! Wow. The time the coaches now have to evaluate players is a short window. Nobody likes injuries but they seem to be happening in the first fist week and will continue through the season.
    I agree with the above posters, the coaches need the time to work on their rosters to put the best product on the field.

  21. Lost revenue heck..most of the season ticket owners would not pay for preseason tickets at full rates if they weren’t forced to do it to get their regular season tickets guaranteed.
    They need to keep all 4 games because, like it or not, real game conditions ARE necessary to evaluate the new players. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, ‘He looked perfect in practice, but when it comes game time, he doesn’t show up.’ or sometimes even the opposite “They gy barely practices and just goes through the motions, but come game day, he’s there slaughtering the opposition.’

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