Green Bay Packers' Super Bowl Win Sends NFL into Uncertain Offseason

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Green Bay Packers' Super Bowl Win Sends NFL into Uncertain Offseason
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers' 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV was the grand culmination of another wildly successful and profitable NFL season, but things are about to get ugly.

A labor dispute has loomed over the league for months and a work stoppage is a very real possibility if an agreement over the new collective bargaining agreement isn't reached by the March 3 deadline.

There are many issues that need to be hashed out, but the 18-game regular season schedule is the most divisive topic proposed.

Team owners want to add on to the current 16-game format because of the potential for greater revenue streams, while players oppose the idea due to increased injury risks.

Recently, NFL representatives said that the idea for 18 regular season games is negotiable.

"We have not drawn a line in the sand on 18 games or anything else," Pash said in a private session after the commissioner's annual Super Bowl news conference.

Perhaps the most reasonable solution would be to meet in the middle and agree to a 17-game schedule.

Each team would play eight games at home and eight away, while the extra contest would be held at a neutral location.

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This would keep the schedule balanced, while giving the NFL a chance to showcase their teams in untapped markets overseas.

Neutral site regular season games held at London's Wembley Stadium have been sell-out events for years, regardless of the teams being featured.

The popularity of the NFL in Britain has risen beyond all expectations and they would certainly welcome the idea of hosting more events.

If a San Francisco 49ers-Denver Broncos matchup draws a sell-out crowd in Europe, there is plenty of reason to believe that a similar showcase can succeed elsewhere.

International cities like Toronto, Mexico City and Sydney could be other viable untapped markets that would relish the idea of hosting NFL regular season football games annually.

Financially, agreements could be worked out with neutral-site venues that would benefit both the owners and athletes.

Players would be more receptive to playing an extra game if the risk of injuries were diminished. For that to be accomplished without diluting the talent pool, it would be crucial to keep the current 53-man roster format.

Instead of expanding the squads to avoid potential injuries, each player would be required to be inactive for any one game over the course of the season.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

If coaches had to decide which games to rest their key players, it would add an extra layer of strategy to the sport.

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