18 games still not a consideration for NFLPA

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There’s a belief in league circles that the NFL: (1) still wants to expand the regular season to 18 games; (2) knows it can’t ask the players to expand the regular season to 18 games because of the safety considerations involved; and (3) hopes to entice the players to offer an expansion to 18 games in order to secure other concessions, like neutral arbitrations and a bigger piece of the financial pie.

If that’s the plan, the NFL Players Association doesn’t seem to be inclined to take the bait.

“I just can’t imagine a world where you add two more regular season games at the end of a brutal season that we have,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said on Friday’s PFT Live. “Certainly there’s been no proposal from the owners about increasing roster sizes or doing anything else to make sure that players’ health and safety is first and foremost. I mean look we are still in the middle of or the beginning of an investigation about how doctors handled the concussion protocol for the first game of the season and it seems to me that if you can’t successfully pull off a Hall of Fame game and you have what appears to be enough evidence to convince both parties to conduct an investigation of the concussion protocol, [it’s] probably not the right time to think about adding two regular season games.”

While hardly a kicking open of the door, Smith didn’t slam the door shut and barricade it with furniture. And that’s a smart play. If the NFL is willing to make major concessions and increase roster sizes and take other steps aimed at making the game safer for all players, maybe 18 games can happen. Smith’s point is that plenty of other issues need to be addressed before a two-game expansion of the regular season would be even a possibility.

36 responses to “18 games still not a consideration for NFLPA

  1. It’s too much. It’s only driven by money on the owners side of it, and the players assume all the risk. Single season records wouldn’t be as rare either. Leave it be and stop trying to water down this great sport for financial gain.

  2. The only thing I would say for the NFLPA is there should be some consideration to the additional revenue that the next TV package could get with a couple extra weeks of football.

    Personally I’d say that if you cut preseason to two weeks and give everyone a second bye week you get an additional week of football and 3 additional weeks of the regular season.

    If you expand the rosters by 5 or so spots/team as well as give the players an extra percentage or two of revenue then it should be win-win.

  3. The quotes do not seem to support the conclusion. The NFLPA is setting out the parameters for an 18 game season – increased rosters (on average a team loses 2-3 players a game so an 18 game season could mean an expansion of 4-6 players). Perhaps the number of games played could be limited to 16 by position (kickers, QBs could be exempt). Smith is proposing resolving ancillary issues as well. This is the beginning of a negotiation – not a definitive response.

  4. I still think the owners have Goodell going crazy with disciplinary powers to piss off the players enough that during the next CBA negotiations they will be willing to do anything (agree to 18 game season) to get rid of that power

  5. Have all 53 players eligible to play on game day and not the current 45. It would be helpful in a blow-out where you could rest veterans and banged up players.

  6. Just go to 17 games. The fourth preseason game is the most pointless, boring week of football. The extra game can be a London/neutral site game for all 32 teams. They could play 8 games elsewhere in other US and North American cities. They have Wembley and the new stadium they are building to play games. Play 2 games there weekly from weeks 5 through 12. Or play games in cities that don’t have professional football teams like San Antonio, St. Louis, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, Portland, Orlando, Birmingham, Louisville, Toronto, Mexico City, and Cleveland. Goodell gets his London football exposure without fans losing their 8 home games. The NFL also can get games into new markets that would have people interested in attending games instead of being limited to watching them on television. At least if they did this, they would eliminate the worst preseason game and kill the idea of a full time team in London, which the league is apparently hellbent on seeing through.

  7. more labor news from good old Mike F keep up the fight One the eve of week 4 let’s talk about labor issues. Nothing else out there to report.

  8. Make a trade-off. The players agree to stand and respect the national anthem and don’t talk politics on NFL time, and the league stops trying to push for 18 games.

  9. We need healthy teams with healthy stars heading into the playoffs. That is already usually not the case. How on Earth are teams supposed to go 18 games and then up to 4 more, with each of the last 4 more brutal than the one before it?

    Expanding the roster only means you’ll have a bunch of 3rd stringers, from multiple positions, playing in the SB and who really wants to see that.

    Already, after only 3 games, we have AP, Griffin, Bridgewater, Kalil, and Keenan Allen on IR, Cutler is out, Gates doubtful, the Pats 2nd and 3rd string QB’s are injured, Gronkowski hasn’t taken a meaningful snap yet, and on and on and on.

  10. Eliminate normal preseason and have 1 preseason game for starters before the season cut rosters to 75 only. have a reverse grade team full of the bottom of the 75 man roster. Play 1 reverse grade game (maybe shortened game) before every real game. Teams get to develop players (most importantly QBs) In actual game situations not just practice when they aren’t ready for NFL action yet. Fans get a extra game to watch when they attend a game while also maybe having hope for the future from the lower grade team doing well when the main team is struggling.

  11. They should go to 14 games, add two weeks of rest and return to a more strenuous practice schedule.

    They can charge a higher per game ticket price, (which they’ll do anyhow) but the players wouldn’t get hurt as much and the quality of play would improve.

    But what do I know.

  12. In a sense the NFL is already an 18+ game season for the players that are in the playoffs, the Pro-Bowl and the Super Bowl.
    Do we really need more football as it is?
    I dunno about you but by the end of it all, I could use a break from football.

  13. If they expand the season they should increase the bye weeks, making the regular season longer than 19 weeks.

    More bye weeks equal more time to rest the body and
    brain. They should also have a more flexible system with injuries and IR boomerang. It’s not a good idea to have to keep injured players on the roster because you don’t want to loose them for the season. That puts much more strain on the other players on the roster to pick up the slack.

  14. First off, I think the rash of injuries each year are happening because training camps are too soft and players bodies aren’t ready for week 1

    As far as expansion goes, here’s the best solution.

    Bring back tougher camps
    Kill 2 weeks of preseason
    Add 1 regular season game
    Add 1 more bye week (each team gets 2 byes)

    This would expand the season by 2 weeks but only add 1 game per player, offset by eliminating the preseason games.

    The extra week would give every team neutral,site games.

    Neutral site game travel must be followed by a bye week; thurdays night football games proceeded by bye weeks for those teams.

  15. Yeah, pinch one of the preseason games for a 17th, add in a 2nd bye-week to stretch the season an extra week (and give the players an extra rest-up) and you have 18 weeks and no complaints from the players. What’s not to like?

  16. I don’t think you’ll see Goodell giving up any power the next CBA. He’ll be asking for to much to do so. As bad as he is, he still affects less than 10% of the players with unjust rulings, and most will think, “It won’t happen to me”, till it does.

  17. I don’t think you’ll see Goodell giving up any power the next CBA. He’ll be asking for to much to do so. As bad as he is, he still affects less than 10% of the players with unjust rulings, and most will think, “It won’t happen to me”, till it does.

  18. If they are really interested in player safety, maybe they should contract the season back to 12 games instead of expanding it to 18. The season is too long as it is.

  19. Yes to 18 games
    Yes to 2 exhibition games
    No to expanded playoffs
    No to eliminating kickoffs
    Brady was Framed by Exponent
    at the behest of the Ginger Hammer

    and, if DeMaurice is worried about adding two games to the end of the season, one simple solution is to … drum roll please … add them to the beginning of the season … duh!

  20. simple solution. Go to 18 games, expand the rosters to 65 or 70, but the catch is players can only play 16 games. They have to sit out 2 games, plus a bye. The players get more, well, players, the league gets two more games, the fans get two more games, and the injury risk is mitigated. Start a week early, go a week late, and push the sb to presidents day weekend.

  21. Two words: Guaranteed salaries.

    These guys get beat up, and then thrown away. Make teams liable for the entirety of the salaries they sign players to.

  22. NFL wants longer season but adding games to players bodies is dumb. Easy fix is extend the regular season to 18 weeks and give every team a second bye. NFL gets one more week on the TV contract and I am sure one more week of rest during the season would be something the players can agree with. So easy it is ridiculous this has not already happened.

  23. The NFL couldn’t even get the “Hall of Fame” game played this year. And they want two more games?

  24. I can’t take it anymore!! Protesters, kneeling, 18 game seasons. This is like giving a child a book of matches and then leaving him alone in the living room. Why even debate all the different scenarios of an 18 game season with playing this many preseason games and then play this game here. It’s a dumb idea to begin with – less is more with the NFL but these idiot owners are too dumb to see it. I guess being a billionaire is not enough, they need to be high single digit billionaires. But the idiots are everywhere so go ahead Rog, you’ve worn us down…burn the house down!!

  25. I think if the NFL really wants the 18 games, they’ll get it by locking out the players until they cave and agree. It might or might not involve concessions (other than a larger gameday roster, which should be happening in a 16 game season). Whether it means more injuries is beside the point to the owners, they’ll just sign more guys, product dilution be damned. The ratings aren’t going to go down (appreciably), nor will attendance, because only the hardcore fans, like those commenting here, will notice. The owners don’t care about the players, who to them are talking horses, and they don’t care fans, who are talking wallet/debit cards. If you understand that, all of this makes total sense.

  26. The product on the field is already diluted, viewership is down for a second straight year.

    Lose the Thursday night games. Charge half price for pre-season tickets. More off season work, maybe not as much as before, but clearly it’s not enough now. Rookies, especially offensive linemen, are not as prepared for the pro game as they used to be. Add the second bye-week and extend the season.

    About 10 seconds after they get their 18-game season, they will start pushing for another round of playoffs. It’s never going to end until they kill the game with greed. The endless seven game series of the other pro sports makes them unwatchable.

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