National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell says that there is “overwhelming” support to increase the league’s regular season from 16 to 18 games, and although there are still a few wrinkles to iron out, a proposal is said to be prepared to run by the NFL Players Union in the near future.
According to a report in the New York Times, Goodell notes overwhelming fan support for the proposal, which would replace two meaningless preseason contests with two real contests. It would increase regular season game inventory by about 12%.
Players would benefit from increased active rosters, and perhaps an increase in practice squad rosters as well, and would share in increased league revenues, but at the same time would be asked to take a smaller percentage of that income.
Many believe that the fact that physical conditioning and team practices have become a year-round proposition has diminished the need for four preseason games. Still to be determined is whether to add them on at the beginning or the end of the season, which requires sorting out the needs and relevant climates of both warm and cold market teams.
RBR-TVBR observation: An 18 game season would be money in the bank for any broadcast outlet with any kind of interest in pro football, and especially for those lucky enough to carry live NFL games. Most stations have a designated go-to player for inside team info – now is the time to lobby your NFLer to make this proposal a reality.