For the past few years, rumblings have been going on that the NFL wants to extended their regular season to 18 games. It is no secret they want more revenue, and feel four preseason games is too many because its too boring, they don’t make enough revenue, player safety, and whatever other BS reason they can think of. But it comes down to one thing, money. The problem is, the NFL will need the NFL Players Association to agree to an extended season.
Well just last week the NFL had its first proposal which is just awful.
One of the most stupid things I have ever seen. I am sure the NFL knows this would not have gone over well but to even propose this is just dumb. This is based around “player safety” but in reality the NFL probably does not give a shit as long as they get an 18 game regular season.
So the NFL wanted to have two games a year where a player had to sit out. So when do you decide to sit a player? You need to pay more guys since you’ll need to be deeper at every position. What happens when Tom Brady is announced as sitting in Week 9 two days before the game and all the fans who bought tickets to see hi play are pissed? How long until the NFL would crumble under fan pressure and make changes to NFL teams have to announce that months before hand? How much backlash would they get from coaches and the front office? This is honestly one of the dumbest ideas I have ever seen. Again, I’m sure the NFL knew this wasn’t going to happen but to even make this offer public is just moronic.
I am all for an 18 game regular season because I absolutely love football. But I also understand that’s harder for teams to evaluate talent in the preseason with less games, and more importantly it’s harder on the players. Its two more very physical game they’ll have to play and isn’t this new league agenda supposed to be about player safety?
However, one way or another this 18 games is going to happen. The NFL and owners want that extra money too bad. So how does this happen? Well the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is up in 2021 which is when this is going to get discussed. This is when the NFL and NFLPA get together and make changes to how the NFL is run and what each side gets. They are actually already starting meetings this summer, which is smart. Because if they can’t agree on a new CBA, then there will be no 2021 NFL Season.
So let’s break this down. The NFL is going to want an 18 game regular season. That may even involve adding on two more playoff teams (not reported the NFL is asking for that, but its only a matter of time), so in the future we could see an NFL season where the Super Bowl participants will play 22 total football games in 6 months.
First, I would be all for 8 teams in the playoffs. Yes, sometimes you’re going to teams in that are below .500, but we’ve also had multiple times where teams get to double digit wins or are 9-7 and don’t get in. I think fans, players, coaches, commentators will all be very split on expanding the playoffs to 8 teams. However, I think a a unique option would be to have a 17 game regular season, and expand the playoffs to 8 teams. 18 seems to b the number the NFL is set on though.
For one, the NFL schedule is setup in a very nice, simple, formulaic way. So if you have an 18 game schedule, how do you choose the other two teams and still make it fair so teams that finished 1st in their division, are still playing the better teams from the previous year. It’s a small thing, but something that will need to be ironed out.
From the NFLPA’s point of view. They are going to ask for a lot of things, and they are going to shoot high. Let’s go through some of those things they are going to ask for and the extent to what they want. Now, the NFL is going to have to agree to all these things in some fashion to get to an 18 game season, or its not going to happen.
- More games, is more revenue, which means the players should get paid more. Yes the owner and NFL want more money, but the players are going to want more money per contract. This isn’t something that needs to be agreed on per se, but players will ask for more money if they’re playing two more games per season.
- To piggy back off of this, the only thing that might be discussed and have to be agreed on is the pay out structure of rookies. The NFLPA will want their rookies to be on high pay scale.
- Guaranteed money. NFL players always comment on the contracts of NBA and MLB players. NFL contracts have a certain number of guaranteed money, but not the extent the other two leagues have. The NFLPA will want their players to have guaranteed contracts. That mean you give me a 5 years and $120 million. I get all of it, not just $75 million guaranteed and I have to earn the rest. Kirk Cousins does have a guaranteed contract, he’ll earn all those dollars the Vikings wasted on him.
- Legalize marijuana use. Players use it for recreation, and to help with injuries – and there are a lot of players who use it. Guys are getting hit with 4 game suspensions for using something that is eventually going to be legalized in the United States. Guys can drink all they want, hell they could show up to a game hungover and the NFL won’t penalize them, so why should guys get penalized for smoking weed. I think this will be one of the biggest issues on the table and one Gooddell is going to need to get off of his fucking high horse and change is tune on. Guys are getting suspended 4 games for smoking weed, and then they’re also getting suspended 4 games for beating up women. It makes zero sense, Gooddells suspensions make zero sense.
- Speaking of suspensions, the NFLPA might want a third party to hand hand down suspensions for breaking NFL polices. Currently, Gooddell does all that and well not many people like Gooddell. Quite frankly, I don’t think anybody does. So the NFLPA might also ask that Gooddell is no long jury, judge, and executioner. Maybe Gooddell can recommend a suspension penalty, but he won’t make it official.
- The NFL is about player safety right? Well the NFLPA might also ask for health care for life during and after football. After retirement guys don’t get lifetime healthcare for them or their families. Currently, the NFLPA tells players to put in a workers comp complaint on an injury, and hope the NFL doesn’t contest it. The NFLPA is going to ask for lifetime healthcare for all their players. Some issues that may come up are how long does the player have to be in the league? 2 years? 1 year? 6 months? 3 years? The average NFL plays lasts three years in the league. At what point to players gain lifetime health insurance. Do they have to play a certain amount of regular season games? These are the kind of things that will need to ironed out on this issue.
- Length of contracts and the franchise tag. NFL Owner kind of have a cheat code in the franchise tag. They can sign a player for a one year deal, that is the average of the 5 highest salaries and that players position. An NFL team can also do this twice to a player. So to go back to the rookie contract, currently rookies can sign a 5 year contract, with a team 5th year option. That contract is limited to the amount of money a guys can make. So after year four, the team can then keep a star player for cheap in his 5th year, then use the Franchise Tag in year six. Players hate this. Players want to see players get paid. Look at Le’Von Bell, or Melvin Gordon right now. Those guys wanted new contracts, not to get caught in the Franchise Tag market and make much less then what they could. The NFLPA might fight for the Franchise Tag to be completely wiped out, or ask for shorter rookie contracts to take away that 5th year option, ask for that 5th year to be a huge jump in money, or even ask for player options in contracts like the NBA.
There are other things the NFLPA may discuss but I believe those are going to the biggest issues when the NFL asks for a 18 game schedule. As I stated before, the talks have already started this summer to avoid a lockout after the 2020 season. This is going to be a long and complicated batter, but players are not going to agree to an 18 games season unless they get a lot in return.