Introduced during these collective bargaining agreement discussions, the 17-game schedule has become one of the central components of the negotiations. It appears the talks are progressing, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports (on Twitter) the revised schedule is likely to be part of the next CBA.
However, were the 17-game schedule not included in these discussions, Florio adds it is believed the league and the NFLPA would have a deal by now (Twitter link). It could then be inferred the parties have agreed to a revenue split figure, which would be a critical barrier cleared.
The owners, who recently proposed a new revenue-split figure, are confident the extra game will be added to schedules. While the 17-game season would not necessarily become a reality in the CBA’s first year, it can be assumed that would be an early-2020s change.
The prospect of a 17-game season surfaced in late September, and we’ve steadily learned what this would mean for the league. Having used a 16-game schedule for 42 years, the NFL moved off its 18-game pursuit during these talks and is attempting to structure a 19-week season (two byes) with a Super Bowl that moves into late February. Each team’s extra game would come at neutral sites, both domestic and international, with the preseason being shortened.
A longer season obviously isn’t an especially popular proposition for the players, though the extra bye week and the NFL’s (known) concessions on marijuana and Roger Goodell‘s disciplinary powers would seemingly help. As would greater cap spikes generated by additional revenue. But it remains to be seen what effect an extra game would have on contracts.