Multiple NFL Owners Reportedly Seeking 18-Game Schedule as Part of CBA Talks

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2019

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 01:  The NFL shield logo is seen following a press conference held by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (not pictured) at the George R. Brown Convention Center on February 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

When the two sides sit down at the negotiating table for the next collective bargaining agreement, owners may pursue an expanded regular-season schedule with the National Football League Players Association.  

According to the Washington Post's Mark Maske, some of the league's 32 owners are in favor of an 18-game season, partly because "additional regular season games would generate a significant revenue boost."

The change wouldn't necessarily extend the NFL season itself, though, because Maske wrote the league would potentially pare down the preseason.

Maske reported owners might pursue an expansion of the playoffs from 12 to 14 teams in the event an 18-game season fails to gain traction with the NFLPA. FiveThirtyEight's Scott Kacsmar argued in January 2018 that playoff expansion would water down the drama, but that probably wouldn't stop the league from padding its wallet further with the money earned from more postseason games.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones threw out the idea of an 18-game regular season last August. As part of his plan, teams would shorten training camp and the preseason.

NFLPA president Eric Winston responded to Jones' comments shortly thereafter, telling Dan Patrick, "The guys don't see the positive tradeoffs."

Players are apparently willing to dig in their heels when it comes to the CBA.

SportsBusiness Journal's Liz Mullen reported Tuesday that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith sent a memo to agents that the NFLPA was "advising players to plan for a work stoppage of at least a year in length."

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