Art Rooney II: 17-game schedule will work out well

Pittsburgh Steelers v Jacksonville Jaguars
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The NFL will hold league meetings next week that are expected to include a vote on expanding the regular season schedule to 17 games.

PFT reported last week that the measure is expected to pass and comments from Steelers president Art Rooney II on Thursday show that’s the way things are heading. During a call with Steelers fans, Rooney talked about the expansion of the regular season and shrinking the preseason as if they are done deals.

“The 17-game schedule I think will work out well,” Rooney said, via the team’s website. “Obviously, this year will be the first year for it, so we’ll get a chance to see how it goes. I think we will reduce the preseason by one game. It will be a similar kind of schedule in terms of the calendar, but we will just turn one of the preseason games into a regular season a game, which I think all of us would appreciate. I feel good about it, I hope it works, and I look forward to seeing how it does in 2021.”

There was a report late last year that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell favored cutting the preseason down to two games and Rooney was part of an ownership group pushing to keep a third game on the schedule. Rooney’s answer suggests that group won out, but next week should bring more complete answers.

40 responses to “Art Rooney II: 17-game schedule will work out well

  1. If that extra game is an extra interconference game (AFC/NFC matchup) it actually adds an interesting layer. Leaves potential Super Bowl rematches/previews there to get a peek at.

  2. They were already charging fans the full price of that pre-season game from the game tickets. The difference now is that the entire stadium will be filled. That means more parking & concession money. Probably get a higher advertising rate too.
    Good times for the owners.

  3. RIP, 1978-2020 record book.

    You had a good 23-year run that brought along a great period of quarterback plays in the names of Fouts, Montana, Elway, Kelly, Marino, Moon, Young, Aikman, Favre, Warner, Manning, Brady, Brees, Roethlisberger, Rodgers, et al.

    Farewell, record book.

  4. tb12bestqbevah says: “Will it work out well for player safety?”
    ———————

    The probability of player safety DOES NOT CHANGE. He’s just as likely to get hurt in Week 17 as he is Week 1 the next year.

    And players are compensated for assuming that risk. The higher revenue for that 17th game also brings in an extra weeks’ salary for the player.

  5. Any records during 12 game schedule stand for eternity. No one in “modern football” should be considered as a record holder until they break they 12 game schedule.

  6. This is great news. The NFL is much more safe than it was years ago. I was around when they played 12 and 14 games. The game has changed. Back then, most guys were on the field every snap. Now they rotate guys in and out so much, they probably won’t end up playing more snaps than when it was a 12 game schedule. Plus the rules have eliminated a lot of the hard hits, so players are actually safer playing 17 games in 2021 than they were playing 12 games way back in the day. And the players make enough money to set them up for life. I’m looking forward to the 18 game schedule.

  7. Anything that reduces pre-season and adds to regular season i am all for. I liked last year where there were no pre-season games. I think they should start season earlier and go with 2 byes. I would like to see 18 regular season and no pre-season in a perfect scenario. But the owners will want the free money of 2 pre-season games

  8. chefboyd says:
    March 25, 2021 at 7:46 p

    And players are compensated for assuming that risk. The higher revenue for that 17th game also brings in an extra weeks’ salary for the player.

    ———————————-

    You realize, of course that the value of a players contract doesn’t increase with the extra game.
    Whatever amount he is paid for the season is simply divided into 18 weeks rather than 17. (That’s counting the bye week).

  9. Years ago, an NFL season included two bye weeks for each team. This seems like a logical approach to me, seeing as how players continue to become bigger, faster and stronger. Each team should have an early bye, and a later in the season bye. Can you imagine playing 3 games, then having your bye … and then going 14 straight weeks, followed by playoffs?

    I find it ironic that of all people – Mr. Rooney of the Steelers is favor of a 17th game … seeing how it was actually his team that was screwed out of a bye week this past year due to covid.

    With two byes, television could extend its season by an additional week, all the time leaving the schedule at 16 games, and leaving teams perhaps a bit healthier at the end of the year.

  10. Just another chance for Belichick to go 20-0 next season. And I’ll be able to paint that on my poster of him that’s on the ceiling over my bed.

  11. “You had a good 23-year run…”

    Oops, bad math! I meant to say 43 year run of 16-game season from 1978-2020. Fat finger typing!

  12. Not exactly a hard sell at the owners meeting. “We can make more money, all in favor say aye”

  13. It will only work for the players if the salary cap and subsequent salaries go up. Owners have to be willing to share a percentage of the extra revenue. Then everyone will be happy. 16 games is a nice even number and the schedule really works well the way it is, but change is coming. I believe the owners really want 18 games and this is a stepping stone.

  14. I actually haven’t met many fans who like the change. I don’t. There are always some teams so decimated by injuries they can’t compete. Adding a week isn’t going to help with that.
    Also there will just be a large portion of meaningless games at the end of the year. Game 16 was already exciting enough for playoff spots we don’t need another game.

  15. He’s right, it’ll work out really well. Unless you are one of the players grinding it out through pain, injury, and soreness that most of us could never imagine.

  16. I had thought they would use the 17th game to push the Super Bowl to President’s Day weekend. I sure hope that is the case in the future

  17. Would love to see all the 17th games played at a neutral site.
    Cities who lost teams(St. Louis and Oakland) and areas that are more known for college-like Alabama or Oklahoma-Iowa

    I’m sure the international games are already part of the plan-but should wait til 2022 due to Covid unknowns

  18. What about player safety? I could almost get on board with this if an extra bye week was thrown in.

  19. How about turning the records into per season average numbers instead of overall numbers (divide the total numbers — i.e. passing, rushing yards, sacks, etc — by total games in the season) in order to give true meaning to the numbers? This would essentially eliminate the additional games’ impact to the history books & keep stats on a level field.

  20. They should just go to a 19 game schedule at this point and drop the preseason and have scrimmages during training camp.

    It would make it easier to keep the scheduling which will make figuring Tie Breakers easier as well

  21. Seriously? People are whining about the impact on the RECORD BOOK? From 1940 to 1960 teams played 12 games. From 1961 to 1977 they played 14. Sadly, nobody remembers any of the players on those teams because they didn’t play a “full” 16-game schedule. Johnny Unitas? Forgotten. Bart Starr? Who’s he? Otto Graham? Never heard of him. Jim Brown? You mean the actor? Gayle Sayers? Doesn’t ring a bell. 72 Dolphins? How can somebody call 17-0 a “perfect” season? Didn’t they have playoffs back then? I’m totally okay with this UNLESS the NFL pushes the season to start Labor Day weekend. Leave college football alone.

  22. I very much would like an 18 game schedule, 2 preseason games, and expanded rosters. And lets all remember, the NFL players union is agreeing on all this, so your complaint does not matter. Oh, and the complainers will end up watching every single game too.

  23. Adding in another game would create big imbalances in the schedule. Right now every team plays 4 teams that placed 1st in their divisions the prior year (same with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th). Schedules are never perfectly balanced, but at least there is a formula. How do they figure out that 17th matchup?

    It is a great move for the finances of the league, but until I see how the scheduling is done I can’t say that it is a good move for the sport.

  24. mackcarrington says:
    March 25, 2021 at 9:59 pm
    chefboyd says:
    March 25, 2021 at 7:46 p

    And players are compensated for assuming that risk. The higher revenue for that 17th game also brings in an extra weeks’ salary for the player.

    ———————————-

    You realize, of course that the value of a players contract doesn’t increase with the extra game.
    Whatever amount he is paid for the season is simply divided into 18 weeks rather than 17. (That’s counting the bye week).
    /////////
    Do you realize that more revenue equals higher salary caps and higher salaries? The players voted yes on this, just like they voted yes on Thursday night games, because owners and players alike just want more money. Sometimes, it’s that simple.

  25. touchback6 says:
    March 25, 2021 at 11:10 pm
    Just another chance for Belichick to go 20-0 next season. And I’ll be able to paint that on my poster of him that’s on the ceiling over my bed.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Belichick’s chances of going undefeated left for Tampa last year. It was a historic run but now it is just that…history.

  26. We’re whistling pass the graveyard here in Pittsburgh.

    Steelers already have the No. 1 toughest rated schedule for ’21 with a division that had three playoff teams and having won the division, playing the ‘first place” schedule with the other two AFC divisions.

    Reports here are the 17th game will be an NFC first place division team and that it will be Seattle. Good news if correct would be game would be at home as would all AFC 17th games and that would rotate to NFC in ’22.

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