Latest On NFL’s Push For 17-Game Season

Over the past two months, the prospect of a 17-game season has gained steam. While the NFL has ditched the concept of an 18-game season, a longtime fringe talking point, the league is serious about adding one game to the schedule.

The NFL plans on presenting its revised CBA proposal to the NFLPA after this season, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports “momentum is growing” among owners to make this happen. Additionally, some within the NFLPA may be warming to it as well.

The most notable part of this push: a radical adjustment to the NFL’s calendar. The league’s new plan still features the season beginning after Labor Day, but the fall schedule would grow from 17 weeks to 19. The double-bye structure (used only once, in 1993) was not previously mentioned in these talks, but the 17-game plan now includes it. The playoffs would be pushed well into February, with La Canfora adding the new schedule would slide Super Bowl Sunday into the final weekend of February.

Each team’s extra game would be an out-of-market event, with the league wanting to push its United Kingdom schedule to eight games. The Jaguars would be featured in two of those London tilts, per La Canfora, who adds other international locales like Mexico, Germany and Brazil are on the table. Roger Goodell has indicated strong support for the eight-game London slate, JLC adds. This would seemingly represent an expanded trial balloon for a full-fledged London team. More domestic sites would also be included in a 17-game season. Support has surfaced for holding games at Notre Dame, in Alabama and potentially in Canada and Hawaii.

A 14-team playoff bracket has been rumored as well, though it is not included in this report. The NFLPA has voiced opposition to an expanded postseason field. The preseason would be condensed into a two-game slate, but La Canfora reports, though the notion of intersquad scrimmages held at stadiums has come up.

With the NFL having used a 16-game schedule for the past 42 seasons, featuring home sites almost exclusively, this proposal becoming reality would be one of the most significant changes in league history. It would also mean pushing the Combine back, with free agency’s start date presumably being slid further into March as well.

The NFL is willing to bend on some issues — like marijuana and Goodell’s power over investigations — to make this happen. The next window for the CBA to be finalized looks like the days around Super Bowl LIV, with La Canfora adding negotiations are scheduled to take place throughout January.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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14 comments on “Latest On NFL’s Push For 17-Game Season

  1. Polish Hammer

    Just dumb, not as dumb as the push to put a team in Europe, but dumb nonetheless given the push for player safety awareness.

  2. burtgummer1

    It’s all about money.Now the players will want more money and the owners will raise ticket prices

    • Steezy

      No…they’ll just get a 17th game check. And the owners get a 17th game of revenue. Ticket prices are irrelevant

      • Polish Hammer

        That salary will be cut into one more piece. The owners already get that game of revenue as it will be offset by the loss of a preseason game they already force the season ticket holders to buy at full price.

        • Steezy

          True. And what players fail to realize is once players are mostly on new contracts, most of that extra player money is just gonna go to qbs and elite players lol.

  3. Ronk325

    This is an awful idea. There is no reason for a 17th game, especially since 16 games are already unnecessary. I think we can all safely say who the 5-6 teams are with a real shot at winning the SB this season after just 11 weeks

  4. jorge78

    Can the NFL please stop using Roman numerals for the Super Bowl? My Latin is rusty…..

  5. crosseyedlemon

    No games to be played on Uranus Roger? It’s the only part of this ridiculous scheme most fans would support.

  6. crazylarry

    Don’t get the overseas push. They have soccer. Plus the travel is ridiculous.

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