Owners pitch 18-game season that would limit players to 16 games

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has pushed for an 18-game regular season along with team owners. But would players agree to this

The idea of an 18-game schedule goes back to at least 2011. "For us, it comes down to who players are as men and is it good for us".

Owners suggested lengthening the season by two games, but capping players' participation to only 16 of them to conform to the union's player-safety concerns about a longer season and owners' salary concerns about paying out two extra game checks.

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

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft have reportedly been leading the charge at the latest collective-bargaining session with the National Football League Players Association that would have the current 16-game schedule moved to 18 games.

The longer season would require a shortening of the preseason schedule, which is typically four games for teams.

"No players are banging down my door asking me to think about this", said Eric Winston, president of the NFLPA. It's understandable to want to make more money, especially for those teams not competing for a playoff spot or ones who have no chance to reach the Super Bowl.

Superstar players in all aspects of the game would be forced to sit out two contests, leaving fans to worry about whether or not to attend specific matchups.

"Why is it our job to figure out how to make 18 games work as players? That doesn't work", Smith said. The NFL and NFLPA have already started negotiations on a new deal, with Smith categorizing the talks thus far as "positive".

Huh. Sounds like the players' union, once presented with this information (I'm sure Smith is aware) will fight even harder to combat the 18/16 proposal.

But is there an ulterior motive by the league and the owners at play here?

Smith is in Miami Beach for the weekend as part of the NFLPA's former player summer getaway, a link-up with retired players geared toward post-career professional development opportunities. The minimum required service time for players to receive a pension and long-term health benefits is three years.



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