NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Advocates for Shorter Preseason Schedule

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2019

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks to the media during the NFL football owners meeting on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Key Biscayne, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell believes it's not "necessary" for each team to have four preseason games, according to John Wawrow of the Associated Press.

He apparently spoke to coaches who said they are able to develop players and evaluate the roster in less time before the start of the season. Another issue is the lack of high-quality play he wants associated with the NFL.

"I'm not sure preseason games meet that level right now," Goodell said Monday.

The commissioner has been supportive of reducing the preseason for several years, commenting on the issue in 2017.

"When I go around to fans, that's maybe the No. 1 thing I hear," he said, per Bob Glauber of Newsday. "The NFL should do things to the highest possible standards. Preseason games are not that."

"Almost every coach has agreed we could get done what we need to in three games," he added.

Teams currently all play at least four preseason games, while the two teams involved in the Hall of Fame Game compete in five. The Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons are the unlucky teams getting the extra game this year.

While organizations use these exhibitions to get their players up to game speed ahead of the regular season, many top players are rested to avoid injury. Considering Tyler Bray was the leading passer and Chris Warren was the leading rusher in last year's preseason, it's clearly a much different product than what we come to expect during the year.

On the other hand, these games still generate revenue for teams, especially with ticket sales packaged along with the regular-season seats. Owners might not want to give up this money without potentially replacing it with a game that counts.

The NFL and the Players' Association will have to weigh these options when the CBA expires after the 2020 season.