Report: NFL might make push for 18 games before expiration of current CBA

Get ready for 18 regular-season games.

The possibility simmered since the regular season expanded from 16 to 17. At the Scouting Combine, after Browns G.M. Andrew Berry explained on PFT Live that the proposed delay of the trade deadline by two weeks was influenced in part by the anticipated expansion of the season by another game, it became obvious in our conversations with the various team people in Indy that 18 is just a matter of time. Last week, Commissioner Roger Goodell made the first official push for 18 regular-season games and two preseason games.

The time for expansion could be prior to the expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports that the NFL might try to get the NFL Players Association to agree to an 18th game before expiration of the current CBA in 2031.

It will be harder to do it before the labor deal expires. If it happens in connection with new CBA talks, the leverage becomes a potential lockout. That possibility, in our view, prompted the union to agree to a 17th game in 2020.

The NFL would have to do something more to get the union to do it before 2031. Obviously, the move would result in more money for everyone. Rosters would have to be expanded. The union could ask for other things, too.

The issue will be the first test of new NFLPA leadership, with Lloyd Howell as the executive director and Jalen Reeves-Maybin as president. When Reeves-Maybin addressed the possibility of 18 regular-season games, he didn’t react negatively or insist it will never happen.

In 2016, former NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith spoke out against 18 games. He said it again in 2019.

While the NFLPA had no comment for Maske’s story, an unnamed source on the players’ side said that the union anticipates the league to make a proposal within the next 12 to 18 months.

Resistance is ultimately futile, because the owners are willing to shut down the game for a full season and the players aren’t. We learned that in…


Read More

You might like