The NFL is currently ramping up negotiations with the player's union for a new collective bargaining agreement, as the current one is set to expire at the end of the 2020 season. One talking point rumored to be on the table from Roger Goodell and some owners is to cut the number of preseason games to 4 and to expand the number of regular season games to 18.
Clearly this would mean a lot more money for the league. 2 more games would mean 12% more TV coverage and of course 2 more games for stadiums to rake in ticket sales and merch, etc.
Goodell seems to be arguing that the quality of the preseason games are not on par with league standards. So they can just be replaced with meaningful games. I have also heard they want to change the date the Super Bowl happens to a holiday weekend, and tacking on 2 more weeks at the end of the season would make that happen.
On the player's side of things, seems there will be a lot of push back. For many players its a nonstarter. NFL careers are already notoriously short and dangerous, fraught with injuries. Really the only way this will happen is if the players in turn get what they want. In short, more money.
Whether that's from more guaranteed money, larger caps for teams to spend on players, or both together, the only way the NFL is going to 18 games for the regular season is if the players are compensated.
And you would think it would have to be more than 12% additional because 2 more games a year.. take a running back. They typically last on average 3-5 years of bell cow ability, if they are really good. 2 extra games in a 5 year stretch is 10 games. So that's more than half a season extra. That would certainly effect their long term prospects for getting resigned. Chances of being resigned for anyone would go down, or contracts would adjust to shorter term deals.
On top of that, if the cap does increase, what you could see happen is teams use players interchangeable more and roster structures change to having 2 good running backs instead a single bell cow. Same with all positions where possible. And that ultimately means the players won't realize any more money in their pockets; all that will happen is the league benefits.
So unless the NFL can really sweeten the deal for the players, I do not see this ever happening.
What do you think? Does the NFL have a good point here that 2 more regular season games would be a better product by cutting 2 preseason games? Think the players will get justly compensated if so, or will they get screwed in the end?