Roger Goodell confirms talks on a 17-game season


The NFL wants an 18-game season. It may end up settling for 17.

Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed for reporters on Wednesday that talks between the NFL and NFL Players Association have occurred regarding an expansion of the regular season from 16 games to 17. And, to no surprise, Goodell is justifying the expanded regular season by pointing to steps over the past decade to make the game safer.

“We’ve had very fruitful discussion on it, discussing the positives and negatives, and the changes to the game that we’ve made over the last 10 years, which I think are really important as it relates to the safety of the game and how we’re preparing and practicing, and training our players,” Goodell said, via Ben Fischer of Sports Business Daily. “I think those changes have made a significant impact in a positive way, and so that is something we’ll continue to discuss.”

Amid renewed talk of 18 games in July, including reports that management actually had broached the concept of 18 games with a limit of 16 games per player, Packers CEO Mark Murphy advocated for 17 games as a compromise, with the preseason dropping to either three or two games.

A seventh regular-season game gives the NFL a whopping 16 games that would be played in London and other non-NFL cities, with every team having eight true home games, eight true road games, and one neutral-site game.

Goodell also said that the season would continue to start the weekend after Labor Day, which means that 17 games would push completion of the season one week deeper into February, which in turn could make for some awkward scheduling for future Super Bowls with firm dates for the game and associated activites in the week preceding it, if the change comes before the 2023 season. Indeed, each of the next five Super Bowls has a firm date associated with it.

But, as usual, listen to the money talk. The NFL will take the extra week of regular-season games as soon as it can, and it probably already has contingency plans in place for Super Bowl LV and beyond, in the event the money talks a 17-game season into existence.

80 responses to “Roger Goodell confirms talks on a 17-game season

  1. Just add another bye week.

    Player safety: solved
    Increased revenue from an additional weekend: solved

    They could even base one of the byes on the previous year’s performance: reverse playoff seeding for the order of the last weeks for the bye. Adding intrigue and continuing to reward the Patriots

  2. I heard they were also going to make the Pats play on their bye week and only count the game in the standings if they lose. they have to do something to even this league out!!

    just not fair we can’t compete!

  3. Some clowns here who are clueless will say a 17 game season with two bye weeks would be great. That is a Roger Goodell talking point that the fans want more games.

    Actual knowledgeable NFL fans want to stay at 16 games with one bye week.

    Speak your mind and don’t allow the suits to do this! They just want to line their pockets while slowing ruining the league and game we love.

  4. I’m down with 17 games as long as the preseason drops to two and they only play the 2’s and 3’s so we don’t see needless injuries to the starters. Most teams don’t play their starters in the preseason anyway…

  5. Is that all he can talk about, seems to me he could be doing alot more with all the problems lately.

  6. I know they don’t listen to fans when making these types of decisions but I’m sure if they polled the fans, a substantial majority would NOT want 17 games

  7. This has always been the best solution. I’d go 3 pre-season (maybe 2), add a bye, 17 regular season games. Start the season on whatever day gets the Superbowl to the Sunday before Presidents day. I don’t get the day off, but plenty of people do and it would help viewership even more. Take the extra income from another regular season game and invest in robot-referee technology.

  8. Stop dude, just stop. 16 regular season games is a perfect amount, if anything you need to nix at least 2 pre season games cause they just put players in harms way and are boring to watch anyways.

  9. More games makes it harder on the QBs and offensive linemen because they can only take a breather on a change of possession. Otherwise they play every offensive snap.

  10. 1. 2 pre-season games
    2. 17 regular season games
    3. 2 bye weeks, one before your thursday night game
    4. move from 53 to 60 roster spots, make 53 active instead of 46.

  11. For those crying “player safety”. Add a bye week and it will more than make up for the extra game. Recovery is the most important thing to the body and these guys just don’t have the time to recover during the season.

  12. pficc says:

    October 16, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    So… an extra game for the refs to screw up, then?


    Ahh this made me laugh lol But honestly I’m all for more football!

  13. I’d rather contract some teams, raise the average talent level across those left and go to less games.

    I’d rather watch 12 good games with high talent vs 17 with what we have in the league now.

  14. Hey Goodell, hows about you try sorting out the product you already have,such as incompetent / crooked refs costing teams games you muppet

    plus something tells me the nflpa wont like this one bit and will likely to try and block it if they can given their player safety agenda

  15. Get rid of the Thursday games, add another bye, and there’s no reason why 17 can’t work.

  16. Don’t they make enough money already? Players bodies can only stand so much. Preseason is boring and many don’t watch it. It’s already on like almost every day of the week, with college filling in the gaps. I might have to get me a library card.

  17. Sweet more games for the officiating to help determine the outcome. How about he figures out how to use the already available technology to eliminate the game altering incorrect calls.

  18. If that means that Thursday games are played by teams that DID NOTE play on Sunday then I’m all for it. Best way to go, teams are equally rested.

  19. Pushing Super Bowl at least one weekend closer to the President’s Day Holiday which would be great so that many fans could relax and not have to work the next day.

  20. I don’t think most fans want a 17th or 18th regular season game on the schedule…but the league is all about revenue (player safety, my backside) so that’s why if they can get the players union to agree, they’ll do it.

  21. Why not 18 games, if it does not affect the health of the players to add one more game to the regular season? Adding yet another game should not make any difference.

  22. darcrequiem says: “You have to admire the NFL’s committment to player safety”

    Pro Football Focus looked at 20 years worth of data. Injury rate DOES NOT CHANGE during the season. A player is just as likely to get injured Week 16 as he is Week 2 the next year.

  23. Don’t give even an inch, NFLPA. No more games needed, especially not the idiotic “add more games but cap each player at 16 games” idea. Don’t give an inch.

  24. What they should be focusing on is fixing the current issue: officiating. And for those blaming the refs, you are looking in the wrong place. It’s the legislation (rules) that are ruining the game we love. There is too much left to interpretation. Streamline the rulebook, pay these refs a years salary so they arent working a 2nd job in the off-season, and focus on officiating games properly. After that is finished, and we get the “product” that we the fans deserve, THEN they should talk about more games.

  25. I would much rather read a headline saying, “Roger Goodell confirms talks on improving the league’s poor officiating”.

  26. OBP says:
    October 16, 2019 at 4:53 pm
    Stop dude, just stop. 16 regular season games is a perfect amount, if anything you need to nix at least 2 pre season games cause they just put players in harms way and are boring to watch anyways.


    Preseason games are meant to evaluate talent. Not for entertainment. Why are people not getting this?

  27. If the NFLPA agrees to this, then they are either the weakest and/or most corrupt labor union ever.

  28. Brought to you by the same hyper competent Commissioner who approved a preseason game in Winnipeg where they could only use an 80 yard field because of the removal of the Canadian style uprights.

  29. 1967forever says:

    October 16, 2019 at 6:50 pm
    If the NFLPA agrees to this, then they are either the weakest and/or most corrupt labor union ever.


    The weakest. The NFLPA got taken to the cleaners last time. But it’s the players own fault for electing such incompetent leadership

  30. “We’ve taken steps to make the game safer…so let’s throw all of that progress away by adding another game.” —Goodell, probably

  31. So who do you play for the 17th game? You already play everyone in your division twice. Another NFC and AFC division and the other 2 divisions place you placed the previous year. Neutral site game?

  32. Stunned, I tell you stunned ! Could the NFL be any more tone deaf ? I’m all for making as much money as possible, but … not selling your soul and endangering people. Are there any adults in NFL mgt ?

  33. Let’s have week 18 be all divisional games played in China.


  34. How would they determine the 17th game matchups? 16 game schedule is semi balanced for the most part.

  35. NFL is really WWE these day, 3 nights a week just call Thursday Night Smack Down already after MNF this week.

  36. We’ll rest games like the NBA, starters won’t play them all. Might just have to expect not to win a few to stay healthy for the postseason.

    Dolphins and Washington don’t deserve another game.

  37. Fruitful discussion on the positives and negatives? I can sum it up real quick: Pro’s – More money for players and NFL. Cons: More games, more likelihood of injury

    I wish they’d leave it alone. 16 games are plenty and we don’t need more teams in the playoffs. As it stands, every year there are teams that make the playoffs are pretty bad. We don’t need more of that.

    Wildcard Weekend is hardly worth watching. The good team/ home team, will advance and the garbage goes home. Not very exciting. THe last couple/few years saw the #1 & #2 played in the championship games and the #1 teams of each conference went to the superbowl

    Absolutely no need to add another sub par team.

  38. Keeping 16 games and adding a bye week seems like the best solution. Agreed that byes shoud go with Thursday games or overseas travel.

    But this makes too much sense, so the shield won’t like it.

  39. If they get 17, in 5 years they will try to get that 18th game. League will be watered down cause of all the injuries. Every team will look like the Dolphins by the end of the season.

  40. You have to admire the NFL’s committment to player safety 🤣


    You have to admire the owner’s desire to further fill their pockets.

  41. extending the season a week is just stupid!! Football is best when played outdoors, in the elements…. End the regular season by the end of December. This will force more northern teams to build domes, thus reducing the quality of the product.

  42. I don’t care if they add an extra regular season game, personally I think 16 games IS perfect. What I want to see happen is for them to do away with the farce that Pre-season games have become and stop gauging season ticket holders by making us pay full price to watch the guy that’s going to be bagging my groceries the following week when he gets cut. Also DO NOT EXTEND the regular season beyond the end of December

  43. joker65 says: “Say good bye to every NFL record if we go to 17 games.”

    Who really cares? Are you complaining that Joe Namath’s 4,007 passing yards record (in 14 games) got erased by Dan Fout’s 4,082 in a 16-game season? Or when Sonny Jurgensen (3,747) broke Johnny Unitas’ record (3,099) in 1961 after they moved from 10 games to 12?

  44. Maybe Rog should get the officiating fixed before you add more games everyone is tired of watching because of all the yellow flags flying every play. Its getting unwatchable.

  45. I think this could work if they cut 1-2 preseason games, changed the rules and allowed teams to bring back multiple players from IR (after 4-6 weeks), and also increased the number of players allowed on practice squads. Maybe also give each team 2 byes per season instead of one – i.e., give teams more player and give players more time to rest and recover in-season.

  46. Pre Season games are basically worthless anyway now. Most teams aren’t even playing starters for more than a few quarters over all 4 games. 2 Preseason games in a 17 game season with 2 bye weeks sounds good to me. They also need to expand the rosters. Goodell says the NFL is safer than ever but The injuries seem to be stacking as bad as ever so more players on the roster makes sense.

  47. Nobody will care as long as the refs are determining the outcome of the games. Mark Cuban warned the NFL to watch out for being a big fat pig a few years ago. Sounds like he was onto something…

  48. Keep 16 but restructure it.
    6 division games
    4 games vs one conference division
    2 games vs other NFC w/ same place finish
    4 games vs AFC w/ same place finish

    Dallas won East last year and would play:
    Eagles x2
    Giants x2
    Wash x2

    Texans (or whoever won that division)

    Makes for more competitive games vs AFC.

  49. don’t trust this phony Commish. The truth is he doesn’t want 17 games, he wants 18 games, if he can get his 17 games, he is half way there. He doesn’t care about the fans who don’t want this, he really doesn’t care about player safety because if he did he wouldn’t even consider this, he only cares about making as much money as he can, which on the surface is fine, be he presents it as he cares about us and the game etc.

    If he wants to make more money, maybe he can add an extra playoff spot in each conference, and just give one bye in each conference and make seed 2 play seed 7.

    While Lebron James is taking heat this week about being money first and he deserves the heat, this commissioner is the all time money comes first and he tries to spin it, the players would be crazy to even consider a longer season…there is no reason, and the minute he gets his 17th game then it’s on to 18th game etc


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