To me, this is a crazy number of games for the NFL to play in one season:
As we stand on the verge of another decade of labor peace, I can’t get that out of my head, and my reasoning is simple. Over the last couple weeks, we’ve discussed everything from the revenue split to pensions to how individual contracts will work under a reformatted NFL schedule, and the main thing is still the main thing.
My belief is the reason why opposition against the current CBA proposal has persisted lies therein. It’s the 17th game. Period. End of story.
It’s been clear from the start that players are leery about the idea of extending their season—creating another set of car crashes in a system that already called for 16 of them. And a lot of them knew that the owners’ strong desire to do that, in addition to their concern over further delaying the broadcast negotiation, created leverage.
So some players wanted the union to push for more, in just about every category.
You want 17 games? Fine. Then it’s on our terms.
And they did get more in some areas. The money in this deal is good, and if the goal is, “Let’s keep getting rich!” then the deal the union’s done is totally fine. But if you were looking for a game-changer, then this really isn’t that.
The franchise tag system is the same, as is the vesting schedule. There were tweaks to rookie contracts and the funding rule, but problems with those (team control over players for six or seven years, a crutch to use in not guaranteeing contracts) aren’t going away. And specific to the issue of 17 games, there are problems. The max number of padded practices in training camp was cut from 28 to 16, but offseason and in-season rules didn’t change.The impact of an NFL game in an American city is easy to measure. On game day, revenue pours in. People spend their cash like it's water. Adding just one more home game per year, every other year, means more of the same. More people through the gates, more butts in seats, more of everything.
However, it means shorter careers and more injuries for the players. I hope they get a larger piece of that pie. I think they're getting too little as it is in relation to what the owners are walking away with every home game.
It's just my mathematical bias speaking, but an uneven number of games throws me off a bit. If anything, I would cut the number of pre-season games to two and I would add two more bye weeks into the current 16 game season. I wouldn't even keep the 16 game season. If I could, I'd knock it back to 12.
You would get less football. But you'd get fewer injuries, and guys would play longer. No one would like my idea, but there it is.