Michael Bidwill’s comments about 17th game become a CBA “problem”

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The labor negotiations need to be negotiated a bit, due to recent comments from an owner suggesting that an extra game can be added without impacting player health and safety.

Albert Breer of SI.com reports that the remarks from Cardinals chairman Michael Bidwill became “a problem,” and that “some fences needed mending” based on the claim.

Said Bidwill, appearing on 98.7 FM in Arizona: “I think our fans would like more. We have surveyed our fans. The heath/safety data plays out that we can do 17 games and it’s not going to impact the safety and the health of the players.” The Cardinals and the league have acknowledged that, as it relates to fan preferences, the evidence was “anecdotal.” As to health and safety data, Bidwill presumably was referring to comments from 49ers co-owner John York, who said in November that the addition of a regular-season game combined with the elimination of a preseason game will not significantly impact player health and safety.

“What I will say is that the engineers, our statisticians, the health and safety committee have looked at an extension of one game and other scenarios, and the changes in health and safety are minimal,” York told TheAthletic.com at the time. “In fact, in some cases, it’s a minimal decrease. Others it’s a minimal increase.”

Of course, non-starters most likely will benefit from reduced preseason reps. Starters and regular contributors will be exposed to 17 not 16 games that count, which definitely will increase the impact on their health and safety.

In the end, none of that matters. The NFL wants to expand the season to 17 games, and 18 likely will be the next step. Unless and until fans vote with their wallets and/or players vote with their feet, the change is going to happen.

24 responses to “Michael Bidwill’s comments about 17th game become a CBA “problem”

  1. Most fans don’t want a 17th game. Doubt trading back preseason games makes it safer for players since stars don’t play in the exhibitions anyways. Owners don’t care though. Dollar $igns…

  2. I thought the owner of my team was the dumbest in the NFL.
    Now I’m not so sure.

    Add an extra bye week, not a 17th game.
    One of the downsides of a 17 game season is additional injury risk.
    You may make the playoffs but have many injured players and not do well.
    I don’t want to watch fill in players in the playoffs.

  3. “Others it’s a minimal increase.”

    “Minimal” means “affects someone else, not me.”

    “Anecdotal” means “fabricated.”

  4. My dream is that the league expands the rosters and the salary cap enough to enable them to play every weak of the year … More players would have a chance to play and the owners would make their money.

    I’m already missing football and it’s only Valentine’s Day!!!!

  5. I’d say if you’re afraid to get hurt, find another way to make a living. Whether you play a 10 game schedule or a 20 game schedule, there’s a lot of risk involved. Considering the money guys make who choose to accept those risks, I’m not thinking the difference between 16 and 17 games is going to cause a lot of players to choose to become a realtor or whatever. They used to play 12 games. Now they play 16 and there are literally millions of kids growing up in America who’s dream is to play in the NFL and become a multi-millionaire. Furthermore, I doubt very seriously if the kids who have had their dreams come true, are going to walk away and risk losing their careers. In my opinion, that’s a much bigger risk. The fans, many who live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to make ends meet, use football as an escape from the daily grind, and they have very little sympathy for players who walk out and take that away from them.

  6. I dont like it cause it messes up the record books on 16 game schedule. If extra games have to be added then change the playoff contenders, the 8 best regular season records get in, and then start the process, let the teams earn their way in for extra pay, tv exposure, ect for the owners. Increase game day rosters. There’s alot of teams watching 16 games a year is painful enough, 17 is an eternity. I dont feel a need to increase regular season.

  7. The problem is not just the length of the season but the health of the STARTERS at the end of the season. I want to see the postseason games with healthy starters so they can put a good product on the field. Who wants to watch backups in the playoff? Quality over quantity!

  8. Since the best players are playing a 17th game (and more) in the playoffs, can someone tell me why 16 is the safety limit per season?

  9. As a fan I don’t really care, 16 is fine with me but am I going to stop watching if they go to 17? Of course not. The owners seem set on this and the players aren’t going to strike so this is happening.

  10. charliecharger says:

    “I’m not thinking the difference between 16 and 17 games is going to cause a lot of players to choose to become a realtor or whatever.”

    Tell you what Charlie, we’re going to test this out first at your workplace. Starting Monday, you’ll be coming in extra hours for no extra pay. Management has determined that the odds of you switching jobs is minimal so tough if you don’t like it. Since it won’t impact me, I’m thinking it won’t be a big deal for you. (And even if it is, since it’s not impacting me, I’m good with it either way.)

  11. I love football but 16 games is enough. Players already take a beating and some are starting to retire early over it. More games will increase early retirements

  12. I dont who said most fans dont want want more football….just the opposite. Most fans want MORE football…to watch, to bet on, to play fantasy football. It’s a entertainment product and we want MORE.

  13. If the league wants more games, they should add more playoff games to the slate. By the end of the regular season, most teams have already been eliminated from the playoffs. Adding another game to the regular season won’t prove much, except for how dumb we are for watching.

  14. Of course, non-starters most likely will benefit from reduced preseason reps.
    Of course? No. Not at all. Non-starters earn their job in the pre-season. Getting cut due to less game time to shine seems like the opposite of a benefit.

    The whole thing is about money. The fans and the league would be much better served if they started looking at how decisions impact the game itself instead of the wallet. The schedule right now is as perfect as it could possibly get. The division schedules, round-robin matchups with divisions in and out of the conference and the seeded match ups for the rest just works out great. The regular season has meaning.

    The preseason is not about entertainment. It is about forming the teams and molding the players that represent their teams in the season to come. It is about getting young guys the experience in actual games in order to judge their ability and progress. The owners looked to monetize it, the players wanted to get their cut and the fans keep spending (though still complaining) about the “experience.” Pre-season is PRACTICE not a final product for your entertainment. Leave the pre-season at 4 games unless the COACHES believe it is not needed for player development. If money factors into that decision you are doing it wrong and not for the good of the game.

    DO NOT ADD more playoff teams. There is no need to water down the product. If more money is the goal then add a BYE week for each team that extends the season by a week. the TV revenue is increased while the players get more rest during the season.

    STOP crapping on the fans and then falsely claim it is what the fans want. Fans do NOT want international games. They never have. It is just another money-making scheme. They also do not want more games but that is likely to a lesser degree than the disdain for international games. It is not all that hard to produce a product the fans love. When you are making that much money there is not all that much difference/impact when you add more. The incentive should be to sustain rather than alter.

    Rant over, now get off my lawn! 😉

  15. Deep down, I wonder how many players would rather have a shorter training camp (elimination of one preseason game) to be replaced by a 17th game. I bet the vote would be split – and that the opposition to the 17th game is more of bargaining chip.

  16. I was stationed at Pearl from 2006-214. The only reason i went to the pro bowl was to see it to say i did, then tailgate. I would GIVE AWAY our tickets to fans coming from the mainland. these idiots running the league think a thursday game after a sunday game makes sense. 3 days in between with prepartion. so they want to add an ADDITIONAL regular season game?!

    As belichick said, the first month or so is really an evaluation of WHO you have. Hes also the reason we go from 90 players straight a 53 man roster. Why? because cutting down to 70/75 before getting a chance to know WHO you have and WHO wants it more was absolutely idiotic.

  17. From merely a competitive standpoint… I HATE the 17th game….

    Football has always been a game of “where you play them, and when you play them” type of game..

    It makes it more likely that teams would suddenly benefit from a ridiculously easy schedule…

    Or a brutally hard one by adding that extra game.

  18. Leave it to one of the greedy owners to say a 17th game won’t have in impact on players health or safety. Here’s an idea, let the owners and front office people play in the 17th game. See how much that impacts on their health and safety.

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