Tom Brady: 17th game “was a terrible decision”

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In the latest episode of his Let’s Go! podcast, Tom Brady had nothing to say about Aaron Rodgers. Brady had plenty to say about the league’s decision to expand to 17 games.

“I think it’s pointless,” Brady said regarding the expanded regular season. “I thought it was a terrible decision. So I don’t like the fact that we’re playing a 17th game at all. I think sixteen is plenty. And, again, you’re eight games into the year and you’re not halfway through, so that’s kind of a little frustrating aspect. So whatever, I mean, we’ll play it. It’s there, you know, a lot of guys probably miss games over the course of the season anyway, so they probably don’t play all sixteen, most guys. But, you know, if you’re fortunate to be able to make it through a season and you got to play the 17th game, I think there’s a lot of things that I would adjust to, you know, the offseason, you know, the regular-season schedule. A lot of people know my feelings on some of these topics. I’ve been pretty vocal about NFL issues over the last couple of years and some of the things that are done that I don’t necessarily think are in the best interests of the game.”

So why do these things happen?

“Because the owners haven’t had to listen to the players,” Brady said. “Because usually what the owners want the owners get. So, you know, that’s just the way the business has gone. And we need strong union leadership from the player standpoint and a unified union in order to have the right amount of leverage to negotiate what we think is appropriate for an NFL player. But right now it’s more like we get told what to do and, yeah, there’s a vote and a CBA, but the choice is: don’t play or play under these circumstances. And we’ve essentially agreed to play under their circumstances.”

Brady is right, and it’s not going to change until players become as willing to flush the commode on a season as the owners are. It was proven in 1987 that the players won’t unite and jointly sacrifice the ability to play football. That strike failed. The 2011 lockout was destined to never last into the regular season, because the players weren’t going to miss games that count.

“We have union leadership which absolutely does the best they can based on the circumstances that they have but it is very challenging to get 1500 players to agree,” Brady said. “And it’s much easier to get 32 owners to agree who have all the information and they do regular quarterly meetings and they meet and they’re all interested in growing the game. Which, look, the players want to grow the game as well but we want to grow it in a way that’s, again, that’s right for the players as well. So there’s not a lot of thought that goes into that and I don’t think the coaches are represented as well, either. I think there can be a much more constructive way of doing the right thing by all parties, if there were the right committees and right amounts of negotiation and, you know, I think it would actually make for a much better game. Which is ultimately, if you really care about football and you really love the game, that’s what you’d care about in the end. Because the product of the football [game] is super important to all of us. Especially if you’re someone who’s been in football for as long as I’ve been in it.

“I love the sport. I love seeing great football. How do you come together to put together the best possible product for all the people who are watching and investing their time? And we’ve been in an incredible economy the last bunch of years, we really have been. The growth of the sport has been great. And I think that the owners and the league have done a great job in growing it to a global audience. The business of football is great. Absolutely.”

He’s right, and he’s right that the owners dominate every relationship that they can. Why? Because they can. They are the custodians of the football product. The games don’t happen without their approval or consent. And they didn’t get or stay rich by doing bad business deals. They use their bargaining power to do great business deals, which give them more power. Which makes it easier to do better deals.

And so on. From seventeen games to, inevitably, eighteen games.

56 responses to “Tom Brady: 17th game “was a terrible decision”

  1. Tell me the NFL doesn’t really care about player safety without telling me the NFL doesn’t really care about player safety.

  2. He’s not wrong. Even as a fan, it seems like it’s too much.
    Rather want more than have too much.

  3. Yes, we know it was a bad decision, Tom. But it’s a done deal, and your constant complaining won’t change it, so please, give it a rest.

  4. Whether it be in football or any other social media context, I really am not a fan of the established rich (with really nothing to lose) wagging their fingers & taking the moral high ground. This applies to both owners & players.
    I would bet that the young guys breaking into the league would have a different opinion than others in a similar financially secure position.

  5. didn’t the owners give them a higher percentage of revenue? players agreed to it because of their greed. they chose money over potential injuries. cant cry about it now.

  6. All about the 💰. In ten years it’ll probably be a 22 game season.

  7. Yet it almost always seems like the fans side with the owners, from contract disputes to the CBA.

  8. More games equal more injuries, more CTE, more early death. The owners know this. They also know that the extra game amounts to, in cash terms relative to their wealth, bird seed. So I ask, Jones, Kraft, et.al.: How much money is enough money?

  9. And he’s right.

    They also took away another bye week so you have some teams playing 18-20 games with only 1 bye week.

    Everyone is exhausted and now even MORE exhausted going into the playoffs. only 1 team gets a buy everyone else is playing for their lives. We may not even see the best 2 teams in the SuperBowl or in the playoffs.

    God help the NFL if Bucs lose 1 game in December or dont get to the Superbowl because they are so tired or only get teh #2 seed and have to play 3 playoff games in a row.

  10. I always loved how Belichick like Brady was in NE. I love him more now that he just says whatever he wants to. He is a statesman in the league and carries so much weight with other players. He is now advocating more like a leader should. Good on Tom.

  11. The good news is, 17 game seasons are only temporary. The bad news, 18 game seasons will follow. It’s been the obvious plan all along.

  12. He’s right. Pure, unadulterated greed. That’s all it is. Player safety first? Ha!

  13. The owners reduced OTAs, eliminated two a days, protected the QB beyond reasonable, and has worked to eliminate concussions. The result of all that is a cheapened product. I don’t want more of that. I’d rather have 14 games of rock ’em sock ’em robot.

  14. A player strike will never happen. The average career of a player is 3.5 years. Why would a backup waste a single game check, much less an entire year of their career, to fatten the paychecks for the leagues elite.

  15. Now that Brady is out of the Patriots he can say what he wants and people can finally see what we see someone who actually cares about the quality of the game. Go Tommy Boy go!

  16. There are two seasons….Football season and “Waiting” for football season. I can’t get enough football. Let’s be creative here. We could have more games if we allowed for larger rosters. I realize the threat of being deluded, but there has to be a lot more high caliber players that just don’t get the chance. How about instead of one bye week we have two. Bottom line though, these guys get paid a ton of money albeit short term, but who among us wouldn’t love to get paid several million dollars for the first 5 years of our career..

  17. Glad Brady is giving voice to this opinion. Clearly one shared by many players who don’t have his position and it seems most long time fans. The NFL season is long enough. Nobody follows regular season baseball for each of the 150 weeks. It massively dilutes the product.

  18. The NFL should have a spring league, to allow some players who have not had a chance to showcase their skills to do so, and to earn everyone a little more money, rather than extending the regular season. Make it 6 games, with a four team tournament for the championship. Teams would all be linked to existing teams, and could even use practice squad players who have played all year but now can showcase their ability. Use the existing stadiums and extensions of the current coaching staffs, meaning “junior members” who are hired to coach the spring league team. There is more than enough coaching and player talent around to make it competitive and interesting.

  19. I would have been happy with the 16 game schedule, so long as they got rid of 2 pre-season games!!! Making loyal season ticket holders pay for FOUR of those crap games, at full price no less, is bordering on criminal….

  20. He’s 100% correct. The NFL has proven time and time again that they don’t care about player safety. The concessions to the NFLPA of reduced OTAs, no two a days, and basically no hitting in practice. Those things have INCREASED injuries on game days IMO. As someone mentioned though, a strike doesn’t work as an NFL career is usually very short and the majority of players want the big paycheck for as long as possible.

  21. Poll time. Which is more alarming:

    Upvote: NFL had no idea everyone hated this but did it anyway.

    Downvote: NFL knew exactly that everyone hated this but did it anyway.

  22. The quarterbacks should have their own union and force the owners to be fair. If they won’t be reasonable the quarterbacks should sit. No one is watching the nfl without the star qbs

  23. Now show us that you support the 16 game season by reducing the salary cap, ticket prices, and TV contract accordingly.

  24. annapterp says:
    November 9, 2021 at 2:33 pm
    He’s 100% correct. The NFL has proven time and time again that they don’t care about player safety. The concessions to the NFLPA of reduced OTAs, no two a days, and basically no hitting in practice. Those things have INCREASED injuries on game days IMO. As someone mentioned though, a strike doesn’t work as an NFL career is usually very short and the majority of players want the big paycheck for as long as possible.

    ——————

    You have it completely backwards. The concessions to the NFLPA were at the request of the players. Let’s not act like the owners wanted to make things less safe. The NFLPA also refused to sign a CBA that required players to wear thigh/hip/knee pads because the players didn’t want them to be mandated. The players refuse to put any money aside in the CBA for post career help for retired players because they wanted ever penny today.

    Any time the players act against their own self-interests (often), the owners get blamed for it. The 17 games are red herring as well. Sure there are probably more injuries in the season but not an increase per game. The players are getting paid for the extra game and the injury risk (per game) is not increased. The rest is just the noise of players wanting to keep the increased 17 game pay and only playing 16 games.

  25. So the players want preseason cut to 3 games, but don’t want the regular season expanded. I don’t see them offering to forgo that extra game proceeds.

  26. I can’t believe all the whiners who get on here spouting about how the “NFL Doesn’t care about player safety, etc”
    What a bunch of loony hypocrites. You’re here. You watch football. You LOVE football, and will watch week 17.
    And it’s ONE game, NOT 5.
    Get over it. Shut up.

  27. They should have just given teams two bye weeks. There are enough games to play on TV each week.

  28. 2 Preseason games
    5 Regular season games
    Then bye week for every team
    6 Regular season games
    Then bye week for every team
    5 Regular season games
    Replace Thursday-night game with Saturday-night game.
    Superbowl played 1 week after conference championship games

    Benefits:
    + Reduced preseason = reduced injuries
    + Reduction back to 16 games, reducing fatigue
    + 2 bye weeks for every team to help heal minor injuries
    + No more instances of team with 2-week rest playing team with 1-week rest
    + No more inadequately short rest between Sunday game and Thursday game
    + No more loss of momentum for both players and fans caused by 2-week delay preceding Super Bowl

  29. What a shame that the Cheater hadn’t had to play 17 games in his entire season – that would have added an entire season to his career.

  30. minime says:
    November 9, 2021 at 1:27 pm
    Retire.

    ———
    Even if he does, your team will still stink

  31. Brady doesn’t need the money but many players do. Extra game check, bonus, incentives go along way for some players. So Tom should just shut up and throw.

  32. Yeah it’s not working. Players look fatigue and tired by w6 but then their team doesn’t get a ByeWk until week 7 or 8. So then you see bad teams putting a beating on good/great teams. Looks like the NFL wants every average/bad team to at least go 8-8.
    Fans deserve a better product on the field

  33. Only reason Brady is crying about this is because it puts his records in jeopardy. Does anyone cry more than this guy about everything?

  34. “He’s just upset his single season records will fall.”

    What single season records? Yardage? TDs? Those have been Peyton’s records since 2013. (Actually Brady never had the yardage mark, just TDs.)

  35. “Brady doesn’t need the money but many players do. Extra game check, bonus, incentives go along way for some players. So Tom should just shut up and throw.”

    Tom is looking out for guys who won’t have long careers and cannot afford to strike.

  36. I don’t see them offering to forgo that extra game proceeds.

    +++++

    What proceeds? The players aren’t getting extra salary, their per game checks just got smaller.

  37. How do you know Brady isn’t on the Patriots anymore? Because he can’t stop Bitching and Sounding like an Idiot!! EVERYONE admitted 4 preseason games was too many. So naturally they slash one and add it to the regular season.He’s pissed because now they have to work 17 weeks for the same yearly pay as 16!! Wahhhh! The players union ok’d it! Fans like it better. Hey Tom, you still have MONTHS off to do whatever!! Try working for a living if you don’t like it!! Signed a Life long Patriots fan!

  38. risk of injuries heading into the playoffs is too much, also hate the fact that the extra game distorts statistics based on 16 game seasons

  39. What exactly is Brady’s argument, other than “The owners made us do it?” They have 1 less preseason game, and 1 more regular season game. Now there’s more money for the players and owners to split up. Less offseason time. Way less preseason contact in practices. Numerous rule changes to protect player safety. Expanded rosters. If Brady wants to be a spokesman, make a cogent argument about the downside of another regular season game. I don’t see it.

  40. I think Brady became this Vocal because of Deflate Gate.Rodger Godell was the Judge Jury and Executioner how was that fair for him or any other player that gets fined or suspended. I personally think after what happened he realized what was happening in the league Tried to change things in 2020 didn’t work hopefully it will change in 2030

  41. tb4prez says:
    November 9, 2021 at 5:20 pm
    How do you know Brady isn’t on the Patriots anymore? Because he can’t stop Bitching and Sounding like an Idiot!! EVERYONE admitted 4 preseason games was too many. So naturally they slash one and add it to the regular season.He’s pissed because now they have to work 17 weeks for the same yearly pay as 16!! Wahhhh! The players union ok’d it! Fans like it better. Hey Tom, you still have MONTHS off to do whatever!! Try working for a living if you don’t like it!! Signed a Life long Patriots fan!

    3 8 Rate This

    ———————
    Yep. It’s why BB walked.

    Brady now does an interview every single day of the week and a podcast to make himself feel important.

    It’s just disturbing how much attention he craves.

  42. Tom,

    Ask for a sky judge please and fix the shady/fixed officiating. Everyone listens to you.

  43. Brady is wrong.

    They took the injury risk of that preseason game that didn’t generate revenue and converted it into a regular season move. Its a good move, a shrewd move, that will bump the cap and provide the players with more jobs.

    Here’s the dirty secret of the last CBA – It was not very good for the top players, but PRETTY good for the Rank and file, 1 million a year salary, 3-5 year career guys.

    Bigger practice squads. More practice squad flexibilities. Flexible IR looks here to stay. All of this means more jobs, and more league years for the little guys in the league, meaning more vested pensions, which is the real goal of the day to day NFL guy who isn’t a superstar.

    None of that helps Tom. He already makes 25 million a year. He doesn’t care if a 17th game gets more guys years in the league and more pensions.

    Its why he and Rodgers are so upset with the NFLPA – they want to BE owners. They want to win. But they won’t actually lead or sacrifice and put up their money for a strike fund. They’ll whine and complain on a podcast.

    Great leadership, Tom.

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