Goodell continues to push for three preseason games


After not saying much about the obviously subpar preseason for a while, the Commissioner has now mentioned twice in two weeks: (1) that the preseason stinks; and (2) that he’d like to shrink the preseason from four games to three.

Via, Roger Goodell said Monday at a Cardinals fan forum that he doesn’t believe preseason games match the quality of the regular season “by any stretch of the imagination.” Roger Goodell also said that he has asked Cardinals coach Bruce Arians whether a team can get players ready with only three preseason games, and that Arians said it’s possible.

It’s not simply possible for the NFL to reduce the preseason to three games, it’s definite. The league has the unilateral right to shrink the preseason without negotiation or bargaining with the players. The league hasn’t done that yet because the league isn’t confident that the NFL Players Association would react to the loss of revenue by saying, “Let’s add a regular-season game.”

With the NFL unable to reconcile more games that count with player health and safety, the league needs the players to offer to play an extra game without prompting. These repeated references to three preseason games are the bait. Goodell and the league will now wait to see whether the players eventually take it.

12 responses to “Goodell continues to push for three preseason games

  1. If they are going to go to 3 might as well make it 2. No sense in half the league getting 2 home preseason games and the other half only getting 1.

  2. Terrible terrible idea. With the already reduced OTAs if any coach thinks they can get rookies and young players ready with 3 preseason games they’re dreaming.

    And consider any team with a new head coach / coaching staff. They’re screwed with fewer preseason games.

    Not to mention the obvious lack of concern for “player safety” adding 1 or more regular season game adds. That alone shows every time the league spouts the words “player safety” its nothing but a blatant lie. Which is no surprise coming from serial liar Goodell.

  3. Three exhibitions is just a stalking horse for renegotiation of NFL schedule to bring in two more weeks of TV revenue. Here’s how a negotiated package should work out:

    — 17 + 2 exhibitions + 2 byes + one inter-team scrimmage (hopefully free, but televised — Springtime?)

    — “17th” game played in NFL wannabe cities e.g. London, San Antonio, Mexico City, Toronto

    — alternate bi-annual homes games vs. regional rivals Baltimore-DC, Pitt-Philly, Giants-Jets, Rams-Chargers, SF-Oakland/Vegas, Dallas-Houston

    — expanded rosters (55?) + everybody is active each game

    — how about every player except QBs & specialists (long snapper, kicker, etc) also gets one extra game off? mitigates the safety argument

  4. You’d think the commissioner of the NFL would have a clue as to what function preseason games serve.

    Hey Roger, while you are at it, Thursday Night Football doesn’t match the quality of the Sunday games. How about scrapping it?

  5. Four is perfect. First two games get some starters some time to knock rust off, while giving backups some good time. Last two backups and bubble guys. That’s the general idea anyways. Other times it’s good for rotating players where the position like QB isn’t solidified. Or like with Dolphins, recently acquired guys some extra time to settle in.

  6. Guess he didn’t hear Belichick’s answer. If they aren’t interested in player development they’ll decrease preseason. The veterans will be fine, the rookies/young players in league will suffer. Maybe, Goodell should get a clue.

  7. Look pre season games are a joke! They are a complete waste of time. Let them practice sooner and longer.
    Season ticket fans get completely ripped off because every game pre season or regular season is the same ticket price, same parking, same food/drink cost.
    In fact the first 3 games of the regular season are poorly played games due to the ridiculous League/Players contract. Work it out so the FANS come first. Practice more and play 1 more regular season game. Max 2 pre season games. Who is kidding who here?
    The quality of football is deteriorating rapidly!

  8. Is the NFL required to have 4 preseason games in their television contracts?

    Do their broadcast partners pay a different rate for those game opposed to what they pay for the regular season games?

    If having only three preseason games means having 17 regular season games, do the player contracts just add a per game bonus for the extra game? Could a player argue that they signed on the dotted line to play 16, playing 17 negates the deal? Or is there language in the NFL boiler plate dealing with this?

    Soooo many questions.

  9. Goodell wouldn’t just shrink the preseason without negotiating. Owners who could only sell 9-game season ticket packages while other owners can sell 10-game packages would likely just want to fire Goodell. I’m not saying that would be a bad thing…

    No, there is likely something else unrelated to the number of games, something that the owners want from the union, and this is just a smokescreen, a pressure play, to get the union to consider a different proposal.

  10. Goodell should stop trying to force change.
    There is a reason why coaches feel they need
    these games to prepare their teams for the
    regular season.

    Most starters hardly play in these games.
    It is crucial time for the young guys to get
    acclimated to the speed and contact at this level.

    Throw them in cold into the regular season and
    watch the mistakes and injuries pile up.
    Players need time to harden up and get into
    football shape, and that takes time and reps.

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