Report: NFL, NFLPA Make Progress on New CBA That Could Include 17-Game Season

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2019

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 03: A football with the NFL logo before the game between the Carolina Panthers and the Tennessee Titans at Bank of America Stadium on November 03, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Representatives for the NFL and NFL Players Association "have made meaningful progress toward a new labor agreement" that would potentially include a 17-game regular season, according to the Washington Post's Mark Maske.

Maske reported some involved believe a compromise could be lined up by the end of the playoffs.

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, who serves on the NFLPA executive committee, offered more perspective:

Maske added that team owners "have shown a willingness to make concessions" in order to get the NFLPA on board with a 17-game season, but the nature of those concessions are unclear:

"A 17-game season would be accompanied by a reduction in preseason games. It also could come with an expansion of the NFL playoff field from 12 to 14 teams, although people familiar with the situation previously have suggested that expanding the playoffs would not need to happen immediately because it does not require the union's approval."

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones floated the idea of an 18-game season in August 2018. The preseason would have been halved to two weeks to balance out the two additional games.

NFLPA President Eric Winston addressed the issue on The Dan Patrick Show and said it was basically a nonstarter.

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The Wall Street Journal's Andrew Beaton reported in July that owners had proposed the idea of an 18-game season but that players would only be eligible to play 16 games.

According to Beaton, the NFLPA projected that expanding the regular season by two weeks could mean up to $2.5 billion in additional revenue, which would add about $15 million to the salary cap. Players remained concerned, though, that they'd be at an increased risk of injury because of the general fatigue that builds up over the course of the year.

The Athletic's Daniel Kaplan reported in September that NFL owners had abandoned their pursuit of an 18-game season and had instead focused on 17 games since they might find more support there.

However, Mike Jones of USA Today reported in October "a significant rift on the matter of extending the season" remained.

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