Goodell: Four preseason games may not be necessary

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A recent report indicated that the NFL would like to discuss expanding the regular season schedule to 18 games as part of the negotiations with the NFLPA on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and past talk about such a move has been tied to cutting the number of preseason games.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has questioned the necessity of having four preseason games in the past and put those thoughts out there again while speaking to reporters in Buffalo on Monday.

Goodell said, via Josh Reed of WIVB, that he’s spoken to coaches who don’t believe having four games in the summer is necessary to evaluate players ahead of the regular season. Goodell also said he doesn’t think that the games provide “great value” to the fans.

He did not make any comments about expanding the regular season schedule, but doing away with preseason games would mean doing away with revenue and it seems unlikely that teams would do that without something else making up for the drop. Any substantive discussions about expanding the schedule would have to come at the negotiating table and the two sides have started meeting with two years to go on the current CBA.

74 responses to “Goodell: Four preseason games may not be necessary

  1. Tie the increased revenue generated by the switch to an 18 game schedule to the available dollars allocated to player payroll and maybe the incentive will pass.

  2. Get rid of some of the games and replace it with being able to practice earlier. Starters don’t play in preseason anyhow, and it shows.

  3. The thing to remember with this is that if implemented, the season will NOT start any earlier, but will run 2 games later, which means more wear and tear on the starters. This is not a good idea.

  4. what a moron

    of course they have no value to fans. The intra squad scrimmages are a better look for fans. BB had been doing as many as possible for years

  5. laying the groundwork for 2 pre-season games…and oh yeah — sliding the other 2 into the regular season. see how he did that there?

  6. Even though coaches can point to each of the four games and state a valid necessary purpose each one serves. (Its not so simple as getting players used to playing).

    But hey, money. You make more if you change one of those to an in season game so I guess thats that.

  7. Three preseason games
    One home game

    One road game

    One game that is neutral to a team and it’s nearest geographic team. A neutral stadium between the two where the tickets are far more affordable than a typical NFL game, even preseason games.

  8. Only in professional sports does the revenue trajectory only increase exponentially each year. If the NFL is a true business, there are one times expense costs that get occasionally factored in. In this case, its wiping 2 worthless preseason games off the schedule and the revenue associated with that. It resets the expected revenue bar accordingly and everyone moves on with their life.

    The NFLPA would be total fools to offer up any concession for that.

  9. fosnomore says:
    That’s the way it currently works. For every dollar the NFL generates in revenue… the player payroll gets 48.5% of it.

  10. All in on 18 game schedule BUT….They need to expand rosters to allow for all the wear and tear on the starters. Also need to ensure a large percentage of the revenue is in the players pool to be approved.

  11. I’ve never understood the complaining after a star player gets injured in a preseason game. Nobody is forcing you to play starters in preseason games! You can have 8 preseason games and just keep your starters out of all of them. Such a dumb complaint unless you want to replace them with actual games, which is also a bad idea.

  12. The sad thing is that they still charge full price for these tickets. It’s doubtful it will ever change since the owners will never want to take any money out of their pockets, even if it is for the benefit of their customers.

  13. If you are going to have 18 regular season games you must expand the rosters by 5 to 8 players. You need those extra players for when starters get nicked up or even injured and need rest. They should also give the worst 5 teams in the league an equal shot at the first round draft pick as some teams just stop playing when they suck. This isn’t baseball where even a minor rule change is the end of the world. This is football. Keep innovation alive and let’s work to make the games safer for the players. 18 games is going to be a grind.

  14. In other words, Goodell is setting the stage for an 18 game regular season.

  15. I fundamentally agree, but teams need those games to evaluate the bottom half of their roster. 25*32= about 800 men require those games to provide a fair job interview.

  16. I always hear 18 games. Why does it need to be 2 games added to the schedule? Remove a preseason game, add a regular season game and a bye. Players get an extra week of recovery during the season. Maybe add a spot or two to the rosters to also help. The NFLPA would have a hard time turning down 50+ more NFL jobs for its members. The extra week of Bye would also help facilitate travel for all of these overseas games they’re forcing on everyone.

  17. The injury data clearly shows more injuries per game in preseason than the regular season. Therefore any conversion of preseason to regular-season games would be more safe for players, not less safe.

  18. zonkerharris213 says:
    June 3, 2019 at 1:39 pm
    In other words, Goodell is setting the stage for an 18 game regular season.


    The Patriots play at least an 18 game season every season

  19. fosnomore says:
    That’s the way it currently works. For every dollar the NFL generates in revenue… the player payroll gets 48.5% of it.


    The percentage of revenue allocation will have to increase. If the owners really want the 18 game schedule, they may have to go 50-50 with the players.

  20. I would like to have two preseason games, 17 regular season games and 2 byweeks.

  21. 2 preseason games that are not mandatory purchases for season ticket holders. Open these up to community groups, youth organizations etc at $26 per ticket.

    8 regular season home games
    8 regular season away games
    1 novel or neutral location or throwback game.
    Example: Green Bay hosts a game in Milwaukee. The Chargers host a game in San Diego. The Cardinals and LA Rams square off in St Louis.

  22. The players who are always in trouble should love this idea. Now their 4 game suspensions will be less than 25% of the season. Any suspension will be less severe for that matter.

  23. If they go to 18 games, add an extra bye week and cut the preseason to 2 or 3 games. The extra bye week not only gives extra rest, but will allow for greater scheduling flexibility around Thursday night games and any London games. Only have teams coming of a bye week play those games.

  24. The only way that total gets reduced is if the regular season gets expanded by as many games. The owners currently get 10 home games a year (including preseason); they are not going to reduce that number and willingly cost themselves money, unless the NFLPA agrees to a reduced salary cap. Hell will freeze over before either of those things happens.

  25. Stupid. The preseason is essential to late round picks and undrafted guys to show what they can do during games. You can evaluate 75% of your roster if you cut down preseason games. Dont play the starters as much if you are so worried. You cant get 75 guys decent playing time in 2 games. Bad idea.

  26. I did critique Goodell for playing hardball with Buffalo but he’s not wrong on this and here’s why: the CFL has proven that two preseason games and 18 regular season games can work quite well. I think the CFL is an excellent product. Anyway, I agree with others who have said that if the regular season slate increases to 18 games, the rosters must increase as well.

  27. why? considering theyve gutted the offseason training camps & practices…we don’t get regular season quality football until late oct.

  28. An 18 game regular season and a 2 game preseason will work but I think the rosters should be expanded to 60-65 players for the 1st 2 games. 4 preseason games is just too many and the starters barely play in them.

  29. Agree 100%. move it to 2 preseason games and 18 regular season games…..

  30. Cut the preseason to 2 games, keep the regular season at 16 games but give 2 bye weeks to spread it out to 18 weeks, and throw in a couple more wild card teams for the playoffs. Might as well expand the roster too if they truly care about player safety.

  31. Lose a preseason game, add one week to the regular season, keep sixteen games for all teams… BUT add an additional bye week in for all. It’s a rough sport and an extra week of rest in weeks 12, 13 & 14 would be huge for them.

  32. The quality of play has already declined to a point a lot of people don’t watch. If they do this the first month of the season will be their practice time and the games will be terrible.

  33. 2 Preseason Games / 19 week season / 17 games with 2 bye weeks per team. No more even number of games, NFL adds two regular season games, and players only play one more game.

  34. It’s easy. Eliminate two preseason games, add two more regular season games, and restrict non-kickers/punters and non-QBs from playing more than 16 games in a single, regular season. You could even give non-playing players the entire week off from practice.

    1)This gets every owner an additional REAL gate (12.5% increase).
    2)Increases the regular season game schedule (and TV revenue) by 12.5%.
    3)Pushes the SB to Presidents’ Day Weekend.

  35. They just want to push the Super Bowl two weeks later to be on President Day weekend so fan can go out late and drink like crazy. Hey, they don’t have to work on Monday.

  36. its all about money… nothing to do with players being ready, safety, or anything else. they know that in places like green bay, every single preseason game sells out and the tickets are a fraction of the price. All this will do is make is so people who cant afford going to a regular game will have an even harder time tying to see a live NFL game.

  37. The NFL used to have 6 pre-season games. The way things are going, there may be 20 regular season games and zero pre-season game.

  38. Cut down to three pre-season games: games 1 and 3 are one home and one on the road; Game 2 for all 32 teams could be in 32 different non-NFL cities- San Antonio, Orlando, Portland, Montreal, etc. giving thousands of fans the opportunity to see the NFL.

    This cuts one meaningless game off my season ticket expense.

    Keep the season at 16 games. It’s enough, don’t ruin the game.

  39. Move the Season up 2 weeks, get rid of the 2 preseason games.
    Add an extra week so each team is allowed 2 bye weeks during the regular season to play 18 games.

  40. I’m still all for 17 regular season games and 3 preseason games. 8 home games, 8 road games, 1 neutral site game for everyone (Europe, Mexico, Canada, et al). It’s what makes sense.

  41. Vikings fans for sure want four preseason games.

    That extends their offseason championship.

    In fact, they’d really appreciate it if we could just play preseason games only. That way no one else wins the Super Bowl, either.

  42. Game 1 – Evaluate what you have and give newer pkayers some on field experience with the system. Established starters tend to see little or no time because the newer players are the ones the coaches need to get more look at.
    Game 2 – more development of players, this time the established starters are in there more so the coaches can get a look at them to.
    Game 3 – this is the real dress rehearsal. Starters are in there and much of it is played as a real game where they take what they learned in the first two games and use it to deliver what is as close as possible to the final product.
    Game 4 – with the main roster mostly set its time to evaluate the depth. Figure out the final roster cuts. Important to have this look at the bubble guys before making those final decisions. Who makes, who us practice squad, who is cut. Even though these are the lower level players its still just as important to have them properly evaluated before those final decisions get made.

    Keep in mind they have also cut back on practice prior to those games too.

  43. Two games to evaluate talent under game-time situations. Two games to get the returning starters game-ready. The formula works

  44. Two years to negotiate an agreement and it will still come down to a strike or a lockout. These two sides will never agree on a deal until revenue starts to be lost.

  45. “restrict non-kickers/punters and non-QBs from playing more than 16 games in a single, regular season.”

    They’ll be getting paid more for 18 games….might as let them earn their money. Besides, most players don’t play 16 games anyway. Almost everyone seems to get dinged up and miss a game here or there/

  46. cruzcowboy says:
    June 3, 2019 at 1:00 pm
    No on 18 games! 16 is enough. Especially on the body and brains of the players. Pure greed to make more money.

    Do you like getting a raise every year?

    Making more money isn’t greed. It is called um…capitalism. Plus you in one way or another pay for it so….

  47. Enough with the false (and inaccurate) concerns about “wear and tear” on players.

    Two less preseason games and two more regular season games increased risk negligably if at all.

    In fact if an additional bye is put in place ot may actually serve to DECREASE injuries.

  48. Preseason is not the problem. The problem is the farce that the preseason games’ tickets cost the same as a regular season game, and that season ticket holders ar forced to buy them.

  49. If they go to 18 games that means any time that plays in the super bowl will have played 21 or 22 games can you imagine the injuries ,it will be the worst decision goodell will have ever made and he has made some big ones.instead of NFL it will RIP

  50. This is Rog laying the groundwork for an 18 game season. Which, the players want no part of. I would say that the NFLPA will resoundly reject the 18 game idea, but with chief clown D. Smith in charge, who knows what will happen.

    They players should blame themselves for their union leadership, they appointed Smith again, unopposed.

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