John Mara: Players don’t want 18-game season

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The NFL wants to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18. The NFL Players Association doesn’t.

Curiously, Giants co-owner John Mara recently made the point on behalf of the players, via Steve Serby of the New York Post, by way of Peter King of Football Morning in America.

“We were negotiating the CBA in 2011,” Mara told Serby. “Jerry Jones was in one of our meetings. We were on a break and we were about to go in and talk to the players about the schedule. He said, ‘I want to try to sell them on the 18-game regular season.’ And my response was, ‘Jerry, they’re adamantly opposed to that. You have no chance.’ He says, ‘I’ll bet I can sell ’em on it.’ I said, ‘You sell them on the 18-game season, I will walk around Times Square for the week in a Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt.’ He said, ‘You’re on.’ We walked into the meeting room, and he barely got the words out of his mouth, and the players said: ‘No way. That’s a deal breaker. We’ll walk out of here right now.’ So I did not have to walk around Times Square wearing a Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt.”

That’s fine, but the NFL still wants 18 games, especially with legalized gambling on the way. Jones recently said so himself, and the undercurrent for more games that count among others in the league continues.

So why would Mara talk so openly about the players not wanting 18 games? Unless he’s one of the few who doesn’t want 18, there’s no reason to speak publicly against something that others clearly covet.

And they definitely do. No matter what Mara says, the league wants 18 games. Maybe the players still don’t, but the owners still do.

25 responses to “John Mara: Players don’t want 18-game season

  1. John Mara is a weak feeble “leader” amongst NFL ownership. The CFL plays 18 games. Yet Mara bows down to DeMaurice Smith. Can’t wait for these legacy owners to fade away and real men who made their fortune the smart way take over. Instead of these silver spoon fed trust fund owners who inherited their team.

  2. The next CBA should include an expansion of the schedule from 16 regular season games to 18, and remove 2 of the preseason games. In addition team rosters should go from 53 to 58 players with a 10 man practice squad.

    In exchange the owners agree to some sort of salary cap structure that allows them to pay QB’s top dollar without affecting the rest of the team cap. Or maybe allow teams to pay 2 players, one offense and one defense with some sort of “cap plus 10%” or such that would allow them to spend top dollars on their biggest stars without affecting how they compensate the rest of the team.

    Somehow they have to find a way to enable teams to offer lucrative contracts for these top starts without having to gut the rest of the team of it’s other stars. I don’t know the answer, but I think there has to be a way to make these two changes. The additional revenue from 2 more regular season games (and maybe another wildcard game?) could easily offset the cost to owners so you’d have a win-win situation.

  3. I’ve yet to hear it discussed by anyone thus far about players pay if the NFL season is extended up to 2 games

    Players contracts are binding & have been agreed upon without the consent that they may have to play additional games, practices, injury, more time away from family etc

    What theegal aspect contract & moneywise?
    Is itegal to automatically factor in the same amount of weekly game checks?
    Or
    Will it be more like OT pay?

    Just asking

  4. Sadly, sooner or later it will happen.

    League will take a beating $ wise on the next TV deals so less money for players in salary cap.

    Union is not going to want a lower cap so they will cave.

    Simple economics as nobody wants less money than they are getting right now and with declining viewership the money is gonna have to be made up somewhere.

  5. The players are already compensated handsomely. I’ll play 18 games for a quarter of the vet minimum. Sign me up.

  6. This game is sucking real bad right now and most players barely play 16 games! The fundamentals of this game are lacking so severely right now it’s making for a terrible product. Combine that with an out of touch administration legislating game changing rules and we have a game by and for the advertisers, not fans.

  7. Dear Lord keep it at 16, stop the bye, get practices back the way they used to be and call it a day. If anything, cut one preseason game and have the starters, who routinely look lost for a week or two of the regular season, play for real in the preseason so they are in shape in week 1. Four stupid preseason games are a complete joke when the guys who are actually going to make the team sit on the sidelines and get fat.

  8. So meet them halfway. Go to an 18 week season but add a second bye instead of a game they have to play. Use the second bye to insure every team is off the week begore a thursday game. This gives the owners an extra week of revenue while actually taking some of the wear off the players.

  9. 18 works if rosters expand, Thursday games eliminated, reduce preseason games and game day rosters add 4 players. Owners don’t want to expand rosters/payrolls. That’s why it’s not happening.

  10. arwiv says:
    September 10, 2018 at 10:53 pm
    Dear Lord keep it at 16, stop the bye, get practices back the way they used to be and call it a day. If anything, cut one preseason game and have the starters, who routinely look lost for a week or two of the regular season, play for real in the preseason so they are in shape in week 1. Four stupid preseason games are a complete joke when the guys who are actually going to make the team sit on the sidelines and get fat.

    ——————
    The thing is, however uninteresting that fourth preseason game might be to some viewers, for the coaches its one of the really important ones. Sure players you (and they) know are going to make the team (starters etc) are out if it. But whats in there instead are all the bubble players the team is still pondering for the final decisions. The guys in those games are not worried about having to stay fresh for a season, they are worried about having a season. That game is their final chance to earn a chance. In a few rare cases guys might be making the roster but the rest are trying for a practice squad shot squad shot or maybe another team might notice them. Most of them are on tneir way out of football and are happy to even be a note on a coaches pad where he lists guys he might want to call back later in the season if need arises. They are not at all concerned with wearing out their bodies

  11. Another option. 2 byes plus, increase roster size plus each non-qb must sit for two of the games. This way owners get their 18 games. Each player only plays 16. Plus, you’ll get more parity since teams are likely to rest their stars against the cellar dwellers (more upsets). You’re welcome jerr

  12. Preseason games are meaningless and bad football, but to a degree, necessary. The result is teams emphasize protecting players from injury. So the early regular season has a lot of sub-par football where teams are seriously working their starters hard for the first time, finally, and it takes several weeks for most teams (Andy Reid excepted) to round into form. Here’s a solution:

    The first preseason game remains the same. The other three games are “early season”, and count one half the value of regular season games. You play them with the same expanded roster as now. Teams want to win those games, because they count, and it becomes a way to test depth players in meaningful situations. In other words, teams will end up doing basically the same thing they do now at the start of the season, but teams will actually be a lot better by time the regular season starts.

    Fans win big, because a lot more quality, meaningful football gets played, but it doesn’t expand the calendar for players the way simply adding more games would. Also adds more urgency to depth players playing their best in practice.

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