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An 18 Game NFL Schedule will happen, but changes will be made

A recent article by Mark Maske in the Washington Post brought attention to the NFL increasing the regular season games from 17 to 18 and bringing the exhibition season down to 2 games. The reaction to this news was positive. I think it’s because of having an odd number of games doesn’t feel right. But there are other reasons as to why this move by the NFL should happen and what else needs to be done.

To get the NFL Players Union to vote on the regular season games increase the NFL Owners in return will need to give them concessions. I could see a second bye week being added and expanded rosters with expanded practice squads. That along with increased player salaries and increased salary cap. That’s probably what would be required for the NFLPA to even consider the NFL Owners proposal. The impact on the overall season would also benefit the fans.

With 2 bye weeks, the fans would get 20 weeks of regular season NFL Football. The Super Bowl would then be pushed to President’s Day Weekend. That would give most people a day off the following Monday. Since the extra 2 weeks of the regular season will increase the league revenue, the players will want a significant increase in their financial security.

With more games to be played that leads to less player durability. A better pension and better post NFL retirement program may be considered. During the season player workload management will be the new normal. The long-term player safety will need to be considered with this regular season expansion. Adding another regular season game and removing a pre-season game seems to be the direction that the NFL is going. Commissioner Roger Goodell did express the desire to going to an 18-game schedule. But he didn’t see that being an imminent change. But it is a change that will eventually happen.



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