At a time when the NFL power structure has been wisely coy (if not outright silent) regarding its simmering desire to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has jerked the cat out of the bag (probably not a commonly used expression in the oil and gas exploration business) by broaching the subject publicly.
The NFL Players Association continues to not be interested, despite Jones’ belief that players would make another $1 billion per year.
“I don’t think our position’s changed,” NFLPA president Eric Winston told the Dan Patrick Show, via SportsBusiness Daily. “[Players] don’t see the positive tradeoff, the guys don’t see it as something that is good for their careers, good for their bodies.”
And, as Winston explained, the extra money wouldn’t be divvied up equally.
“[The] cap is going to get tilted heavily to the star players.” Winston said. “The people that I’ve talked to on how that money could be spread, wouldn’t go to your role players, your middle-of-the-road guys.”
As to the notion that swapping two preseason games for two regular-season games would in some way make the game safer, Winston scoffed.
“Let’s look at it from a common sense standpoint,” Winston said. “Does anybody think playing two more games is safer for players?”
He’s right. But remember this: Winston previously hasn’t ruled out the possibility of expanding the regular season by one game only. Though he has said that a move from 16 to 18 is “dead in the water,” Winston said in 2015 regarding a possible move to 17, “I never say never about anything.”
Winston apparently hasn’t addressed the possibility of moving from 16 to 18 with a per-player limit of 16 games each. That continues to be a viable alternative, especially if the union is OK with it.