Talk of an 18-game schedule won’t die

Annette Crawford
July 14, 2019

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith was critical of the idea of expanding the 16-game schedule, providing pointed criticism at extra workload. "For us, it comes down to who players are as men and is it good for us".

Packers chief executive Mark Murphy floated a compromise on Friday, suggesting the league expand the season one week and use the extra game for global or neutral site appearances.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Goodell and the rest of the owners are actually seriously considering an 18-game and have proposed the idea to the NFL Players Association. Based on the current proposal, there would be a 16-game limit per player which means teams would have to pick and choose which two games they want to sit players. That's crucial, according to NFLPA estimates, because the average National Football League career is 3.4 years, but would drop to 2.8 years with two more games each season.

"No players are banging down my door asking me to think about this", said Eric Winston, president of the NFLPA.


As for how the 18/16 proposal would logistically work with each player on the roster only dressing for 16 of their team's 18 games, that could end up being a coaching nightmare.

"Why is it our job to figure out how to make 18 games work as players?"

A number of the league's 32 owners are in favour of revisiting the idea, or considering an expanded playoff field, as the NFL and NFLPA begin to ramp up negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.

But is there an ulterior motive by the league and the owners at play here? In terms of the CBA, Smith noted how players have increasingly used their power in the economic sphere as well. Several potential routes exist here, such as adjusting the salary-cap minimums each team is required to spend in hopes of getting more guaranteed money in contracts and shortening or making restrictions on rookie contracts. "That is crucial because players now become eligible for post-career benefits such as pensions and health insurance after three years".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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