Goodell: We have option for 17-game season, but will continue to talk

USA TODAY Sports

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is usually on stage by himself at his annual Super Bowl press conference, but this has been an unusual season and his meeting with the media from Tampa was unusual as well.

Goodell was joined by NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith in the final minutes and the two men discussed the high level of cooperation they needed to have in order for the season to play out amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Cooperation has rarely been the default option for their two organizations, but both men said they have become closer as they’ve “worked together to find solutions.”

Goodell signaled that will continue after the season as well. He was asked about whether the league will implement a 17-game schedule for the 2021 season. The league has the ability to implement that change under the Collective Bargaining Agreement agreed to this year and NFL Media reported late last year that it will happen, but Goodell said it’s something to consider after the Super Bowl.

“We are looking at the 17-game schedule,” Goodell said. “We’ve already agreed to that in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. There’s still more work to be done on that. Once the game is done, we’ll turn our focus a little bit more to that. Even though we have that option, we’re going to continue to talk.”

NFL owners approved a scheduling plan for a 17-game season at their last meeting. It would be an interconference game with each division’s teams, i.e. AFC East vs. NFC West, matched up based on the previous year’s standings.

5 responses to “Goodell: We have option for 17-game season, but will continue to talk

  1. I know the league is all about profits which is fine, but adding a 17th game after you’ve expanded the playoffs already is brutal for the players. Why not just ditch the bye altogether and put four playoff games on Saturday and Sunday in the first weekend of the playoffs?

  2. Disgusting. The players’ bodies can hardly handle 16-game regular seasons. Playoff teams look like the patients in a MASH unit, and the Super Bowl winners are determined as much by who is at least mostly healthy as they are by which team is best. Adding another game to it will just make the competition more about dumb luck than it was before. This proposal is a disrespect to the game.

  3. pmars64 says:
    February 4, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    Why not just ditch the bye altogether and put four playoff games on Saturday and Sunday in the first weekend of the playoffs?

    *******************************************************************************

    Better yet, why not just leave well enough alone, since the 16-game season and prior playoff setup was the one thing that people weren’t bitching about.

    If they’re going to mess with the format, get rid of this business where a 6-10 team can beat out a 11-5 team to get into the playoffs just because the 6-10 team finished first in a garbage division.

  4. themaskettaman says:

    February 4, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    Disgusting. The players’ bodies can hardly handle 16-game regular seasons. Playoff teams look like the patients in a MASH unit, and the Super Bowl winners are determined as much by who is at least mostly healthy as they are by which team is best. Adding another game to it will just make the competition more about dumb luck than it was before. This proposal is a disrespect to the game
    ——-
    Just because people repeat it doesnt make this true. 1st off no one can say that before the season both the chiefs and bucs were superbowl contenders and likely favorites so saying its determined by health is incorrect. Look at the playoff teams, try to find any where you can say they were breaking down because of games played. 2nd if you add an extra game theres less chance at dumb luck as its 1 more game which puts % of upsets further down, the larger the sample size the better. 3rd I’m guessing you’ve only been following football a few years to call adding a game disrespect since games have been added many times.

  5. Pre-season results in season ending injuries, but shortening it means teams aren’t fully ready the first couple of games resulting in worse quality games.

    There is a free alternative – the NFL can add an extra bye day, and have an extra week of the season, but still keep 16 games. They won’t gain attendance, but they will gain TV revenue. And this bye can be before a Thursday game, so the teams are rested. As it stands Thursday nite games are bad in general. By adding an extra bye day, they gain the TV revenue and improve the Thursday night game, and the players don’t suffer injury risk.

    Extending the season adds randomness as there is a greater chance of injury to a key player.

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