George Kittle wants two byes to minimize wear and tear of 17 games

NFC Divisional Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Green Bay Packers
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The NFL finally has managed to expand the season from 17 to 18 regular-season weekends, thanks to the addition of a 17th game. 49ers tight end George Kittle would like the league to expand to 19 regular-season weekends without adding games.

Appearing on Cold As Balls with Kevin Hart, Kittle made the case for two regular-season bye weeks.

“There’s a huge physical toll,” Kittle said, via Taylor Wirth of “And like, 17 games is a lot. It’s a lot of games, with one bye, whether it’s Week Four or the bye is Week 11. I’m advocating for two byes.”

To deal with that physical toll, Kittle said that he spends a “couple hundred thousand” dollars per year on his body. Fortunately for him, he can afford it; he’s making $15 million per year.

The league experimented with two byes back in 1993. The networks didn’t like it, because it diluted the weekly slate of games. At the time, however, there were only 26 teams. There are now 32. Maybe it would be easier to pull off a second bye week.

It’s more likely at this point that the 19th weekend of the regular season would come from an 18th game, not from a second bye. Regardless, as legalized wagering continues to expand, the NFL will be looking both for more inventory and more stand-alone games. A second bye would indeed give the NFL more ways to have more games in more windows, without increasing the number of total games.

23 responses to “George Kittle wants two byes to minimize wear and tear of 17 games

  1. 2 byes 20 weeks, only two preseason games. Teams rotate through 8 slots on the first have and 8 slots on the second half. Only the last week and the first week are immune. The week before your bye you have a Thursday night game. Exception Dallas and Detroit they can keep Thanksgiving, but they rotate like everyone else. That would give 18 weeks of two Thursday games. It would mean that players would have 4 10 days breaks each season.

  2. You’re going to see 2 preseason games, with a 20 week regular season and 2 byes in the future. CFL has 18 regular season games with a couple byes.

  3. Or perhaps he doesn’t have to play every game.. there’s a value of adding depth. If he needs to sit a game or 2 or 3 .. there is nothing in the rules against it.

  4. Its an extra week of Televised games, that costs the NFL nothing. They should do it.

  5. I will take an extra week of football. Live sports are the only reason I still have cable TV. A bad football game will still be on my television over anything else cable has to offer.

  6. I think this will happen, there is basically no downside for the league, it gives them another week to be the biggest thing out there.

  7. With the way the NFL is going it’s only a matter of time before a season is 18months long and they only play one game a month.

  8. Or George, you can just get into something other than football if you are concerned about your health.

  9. Healthier players, longer season for the fans, and possibly more advertising for the NFL. This would be a win all-around.

  10. Next he’s going want two weeks of payed vacation along with his 6 months of payed vacation.

  11. Two-byes is one of the best suggestions in a long time (especially as compared to the unqualified rule on taunting)! Combine two-byes with the elimination of the short turn around Thursday games and you will see healthier players. This will lead to better games. Win Win!

  12. The offense only plays 10 minutes at most of actual live action during a game. Cmon…no need to need another week off.

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