NFL focusing on expanding to 17-game season rather than 18
It is no secret that NFL owners would like to add more regular season games to the schedule when the current collective bargaining agreement between the league and players expires, but the idea of an 18-game schedule is being tabled for now. Owners are now hoping to get one extra game.
NFL ownership sources told Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic that owners have dropped their proposal for an 18-game season and are focused on expanding the regular season to 17, with an understanding that at least one of four preseason games would be dropped.
Several ideas have been thrown around with regard to expanding the regular season, with one proposal even suggesting players would be given the opportunity to take two regular season games off if the season expanded from 16 to 18 games. That obviously does not sound feasible and would not be well-received by fans. An idea that has been more popular is expanding the postseason and allowing for more teams and another round rather than expanding the regular season.
For obvious reasons, the NFL Players Association has been harshly opposed to playing more games. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said over the summer that he cannot envision the season expanding to 18 games “under any circumstances.”
With the number of injuries we have seen in preseaosn games in recent years, you can understand why even some owners are in favor of cutting that number down from four. Even if the NFL sticks with 16 games going forward, shortening the preseason schedule seems like a fool proof idea.