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KRK
  • Posts: 3585
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Friends, Romans, Countrymen....I would be interested in whether or not you think this might be a good idea....my thoughts:
  • The game is at the cusp (if not over the cusp) of being over-exposed as it is.
  • I think they would need to expand the active roster by at least 5 players to maintain quality.
  • It is interesting how the proposal would push the likely career length below 3 years...when benefits kick in.

The Billion-Dollar Question Hanging Over NFL Labor Talks

NFL owners say an 18-game regular season would drastically increase revenues, but players are pushing back

By Andrew Beaton July 11, 2019 11:43 am ET
https://www.wsj.com/arti...lts&page=1&pos=2 

At the most recent collective bargaining session between the NFL and its players union, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the league decision-makers proffered one of the most tantalizing ideas in professional football: What about an 18-game regular season?

The idea has been on the owners’ wish list for years because of an upside that’s both simple and lucrative. Two more games might drastically increase revenue. The country’s richest sports league could become even richer. The players would share in that windfall.

But the players resisted their pitch. And their misgivings about playing two more games show how, as players and owners haggle over a new collective bargaining agreement, their interests diverge even when there is more money—potentially billions of dollars annually—on the table for both sides to share.

For the same reasons that an 18-game season would make both sides more money, the players say it would also undercut several points they’re focused on addressing in this round of bargaining. Those include improving conditions for middle-class players, who face short career spans, non-guaranteed contracts and post-career health concerns—concerns that might be undercut by playing more football.

“They’re looking at it like, ‘Hey get back into the mine and start mining coal,’” said Eric Winston, president of the NFL Players Association.

The current collective bargaining agreement doesn’t expire until after the 2020 season, but the two sides have engaged in early talks in hopes of getting a new deal done, perhaps even before this season. The sooner a new agreement is struck, the better position the league is in to begin talks with broadcasters about the sale of their next round of TV rights, the most valuable property in television.

This isn’t the first time 18 games has been discussed. But the conversations around an expanded schedule have approached a new level of creativity, three people familiar with the discussions said, with the possibilities including expanded rosters and mandating players only participate in a certain number of games.

One idea owners have proposed: limiting players to 16 games, to assuage health and safety concerns. That would mean even if the Kansas City Chiefs played 18 games, quarterback Patrick Mahomes would play in just 16 of them.

Ownership pushed for an 18-game schedule back in 2011, too—when negotiations grew so tense that the owners locked out the players for months, threatening the start of the season. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke openly about it then, saying that cutting down the pre-season “improves the quality of what we’re doing as a league.”

It’s not hard to figure out why expanding the schedule holds so much allure. The four-game preseason schedule becomes more of a caricature every year, with star players sitting out and fans chafing at spending big bucks to see meaningless games. Swapping two of those for two more regular-season weeks could be a boon.

An NFLPA analysis concluded that two additional games could add as much as $2.5 billion in annual revenue. This, they believe, would add approximately $15 million to the salary cap for each team in the first year. Across the league’s 32 teams, that has the potential to put nearly half a billion dollars in the hands of players annually.

But the players see downsides. There are already roughly 4,000 injuries per year. Those tend to spike later in the season, when players are more fatigued and their bodies have absorbed months of bruising play. And for the same reason that revenue would rise with two more regular-season games, it could increase the number of injuries too—especially, players fear, in the proposed 17th and 18th games.
One proposal for an 18-game season would force star players like Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes to sit out two regular season games. Photo: jay biggerstaff/Reuters

That type of increase could have consequences, according to the union’s analysis. The additional two regular-season games every year would reduce the average career span from 3.3 years to 2.8 years, they estimate. That is crucial because players currently become eligible for post-career benefits such as pensions and health insurance after three years.

The NFL says, according to its calculations, the average career length for a player who has played in at least three games is 4.2 years. The league added that there were only 2,800 injuries last year that caused players to miss time. Goodell, on CNBC Thursday, when asked about an 18-game schedule noted the steps the league has made to make the game safer.

And the players view the proposal in which they would have to sit games as unrealistic because key players would be unwilling to ride the bench when the stakes are so high, one of the people familiar with the negotiations said. They also feel it could exacerbate issues that have already been raised about tanking and competitiveness.

This doesn’t mean there isn’t a world in which the players will sign off on an 18-game schedule down the road, with another bargaining session scheduled for next week. And with so much money at stake in the decision, it’s also the players’ greatest leverage in the negotiations to bargain for better benefits and a greater share of revenue. The players currently see 47% of what the league makes.

The impasse reflects the players’ priorities in any new deal: practical changes that improve the quality of life for what they refer to as their “core” player. That refers to the players who make up the majority of rosters and play on cheap contracts. In other words, the non-Tom Bradys of the league.

Under this latest collective bargaining agreement, the salary cap has soared, with the cap tied to the league’s revenue growth. So when owners cash in on mega-broadcasting deals, the players do, too. The cap for this upcoming season will be $188.2 million--a 56.8% increase over the $120 million in 2011. It has gone up by at least $10 million in each of the last six seasons. That means the players have become richer than ever.

Except most players haven’t exactly gotten a piece of that fortune. While the bigger budgets have afforded teams more money to shell out for the game’s biggest stars, nearly 60% of players sign contracts for the minimum.

The union has instead been advocating for changes that would reach its broader membership. This includes increased benefits, player-performance bonuses, changes to the minimum salary structure and the ability for players to reach free agency more quickly. Essentially, they are looking to protect the same things that an 18-game calendar would erode.

“No players are banging down my door asking me to think about this,” Winston said.

Write to Andrew Beaton at andrew.beaton@wsj.com
Zero2Cool
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Cut exhibition season in half. Leave 16 games alone.
Nonstopdrivel
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I can't see any of the stakeholders being satisfied with a weird hybrid arrangement whereby even the top stars are forced to sit out two games a season: Season-ticket holders will be pissed about paying for games in which their favorite players are healthy scratches. Networks will balk at being saddled with meaningless games that make it harder to sell advertising. Players will object to jeopardizing their performance bonuses, not to mention losing out on extra opportunities to audition for bigger contracts. Coaches will complain the potential loss of key personnel during important games. Owners will hate the loss of revenue that ensues when fans refuse to buy tickets for games the stars are sitting out.

A far more sensible option is to add an extra bye week or two and ensure that teams only play Thursday night games coming off a bye. Or better yet, eliminate TNF altogether. The product on the field has been dreadful ever since TNF was instituted. The quality is an embarrassment, and I don't think anyone would miss it.
KRK
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Dr NSD, As usual....excellent points and suggestions.
sschind
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Originally Posted by: Nonstopdrivel 

I can't see any of the stakeholders being satisfied with a weird hybrid arrangement whereby even the top stars are forced to sit out two games a season: Season-ticket holders will be pissed about paying for games in which their favorite players are healthy scratches. Networks will balk at being saddled with meaningless games that make it harder to sell advertising. Players will object to jeopardizing their performance bonuses, not to mention losing out on extra opportunities to audition for bigger contracts. Coaches will complain the potential loss of key personnel during important games. Owners will hate the loss of revenue that ensues when fans refuse to buy tickets for games the stars are sitting out.

A far more sensible option is to add an extra bye week or two and ensure that teams only play Thursday night games coming off a bye. Or better yet, eliminate TNF altogether. The product on the field has been dreadful ever since TNF was instituted. The quality is an embarrassment, and I don't think anyone would miss it.



Can you imagine the fallout if the Chiefs (only using them because the article did but it works for every team) misses the playoffs because they lose the 2 game Mahommes doesn't start. Its a stupid idea but we would get a better idea of what coaches think about their opponents. Chiefs play the Cardinals in week 4. I think we will sit Patrick in this one.

I have a perfect solution to the fact that injuries tend to happen later in the season. Simply
put the two extra games at the beginning of the season. Problem solved. 😉 😉



Cheesey
  • Posts: 13210
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Sschind.....now THAT is FUNNY!!! Good job!
(Put the games at the beginning of the season.....,you get the “Cheesey post of the day” for that one!!!)
😂
Cheesey
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Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool 

Cut exhibition season in half. Leave 16 games alone.



To me, Zero hit it out of the park.
Of course the owners won’t go for that. Lost money.
beast
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  • Joined: 10/5/2008
Money wise, this would help both sides... but it wouldn't help the players as much... because if said players aren't allowed to play in two games, you would then need to hire more players and they would have to split the money more ways.


Plus there is some bad to this, in that some games at the end of the season are already meaningless, extend the season and on average, the games get even more meaningless because there is an even bigger divide by the end of the season.


My opinion, is they want a longer season for the TV money, the simply answer is simply add two more bye weeks in there to make it a 19 week season (where they only play 16 games), you still get the TV money (which is a huge part)... the only thing you miss out would be the in person fan money (and community money)... but it avoids adding more players (which they don't seem to want to do, to split the money more ways) and it avoids making more meaningless games at the end of the season.
KRK
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DrNSD opined
Quote:

A far more sensible option is to add an extra bye week or two and ensure that teams only play Thursday night games coming off a bye. Or better yet, eliminate TNF altogether. The product on the field has been dreadful ever since TNF was instituted. The quality is an embarrassment, and I don't think anyone would miss it.

Beast agreed:
Quote:

My opinion, is they want a longer season for the TV money, the simply answer is simply add two more bye weeks in there to make it a 19 week season (where they only play 16 games), you still get the TV money (which is a huge part)... the only thing you miss out would be the in person fan money (and community money)... but it avoids adding more players (which they don't seem to want to do, to split the money more ways) and it avoids making more meaningless games at the end of the season.


I think these ideas are more likely to be accepted by the NFLPA as they involve the same number of games, and the benefit of an additional bye week for recuperation mid-season.
Zero2Cool
  • Posts: 38336
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Originally Posted by: beast 

Money wise, this would help both sides... but it wouldn't help the players as much... because if said players aren't allowed to play in two games, you would then need to hire more players and they would have to split the money more ways.


Plus there is some bad to this, in that some games at the end of the season are already meaningless, extend the season and on average, the games get even more meaningless because there is an even bigger divide by the end of the season.


My opinion, is they want a longer season for the TV money, the simply answer is simply add two more bye weeks in there to make it a 19 week season (where they only play 16 games), you still get the TV money (which is a huge part)... the only thing you miss out would be the in person fan money (and community money)... but it avoids adding more players (which they don't seem to want to do, to split the money more ways) and it avoids making more meaningless games at the end of the season.



Never ever EVER think about adding BYE weeks. Stupidest fucking thing ever! They tried that and it was so god damn dumb even they realized it need to get the fuck out. Stupid, plain fucking stupid! Adding BYE weeks. That idea can go to fucking hell!

(but seriously, without the over the top ranting ... BYE weeks are not the solution)

If anything, they need to give the league a BYE week during week 12 or something. Do the NFL Honors thing or something at that time. Then do the Pro Bowl two weeks after the Super Bowl. There, your freaking year is stretched out.
Cheesey
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Zero, you know it’s not good for your blood pressure to hold back like that.
Tell us how you REALLY feel!😂
sschind
  • Posts: 2638
  • Joined: 3/5/2013
Originally Posted by: Cheesey 

Sschind.....now THAT is FUNNY!!! Good job!
(Put the games at the beginning of the season.....,you get the “Cheesey post of the day” for that one!!!)
😂



I'm honored Cheesey. glad I could put a little laughter into your day.

wpr
  • Posts: 16837
  • Joined: 8/8/2008
Originally Posted by: Zero2Cool 

Never ever EVER think about adding BYE weeks. Stupidest fucking thing ever! They tried that and it was so god damn dumb even they realized it need to get the fuck out. Stupid, plain fucking stupid! Adding BYE weeks. That idea can go to fucking hell!

(but seriously, without the over the top ranting ... BYE weeks are not the solution)

If anything, they need to give the league a BYE week during week 12 or something. Do the NFL Honors thing or something at that time. Then do the Pro Bowl two weeks after the Super Bowl. There, your freaking year is stretched out.



If they do, will you finally put the bye week on the PackersHome schedule?

I can see giving players 2 games off as a problem. You healthy scratch a few key players when facing AZ (Or Cleveland/Jax in previous years) and they don't roll over as planned. Also having 53 players and 18 games is a little bit of an issue, while it's only 2.9 players a game. That's every single game. Someone of value/quality has to sit week 1, 2, 3 and so on. As has been pointed out who wants to sit a key player in week 18 with the playoffs on the line?

As a ticket holder, I hate paying full price to get a bunch of practice squad potentials and street free agents getting 70-80% of the reps. I pretend we are evaluating the 45th-60th level players. In the last year or two they lowered the preseason prices and bumped the regular season games based the quality of the opponent. One year McCarthy had the 1st string play one possession. (Preseason week 3) Rodgers threw a TD on the 1st play. We missed it. Construction delays on 41 were terrible. We were still walking into the stadium. Everyone said surely Mike will bring them out for another possession so they can work on stuff. Nope. The defense had about 4 or 5 plays and they were done too. The fans booed. Nobody in the organization cared.

Personally I wouldn't mind 18 games. I figure the 1 preseason game with stay with the Green package. They already have 6 real games. The Gold package only has 2 so we will get the extra home game. At least I hope so. Right now it's home games 2 and 5. Games 2,4 and 7 would be so bad. I can take my wife to the first game. My son and daughter in law get the middle one and my son and me the later (colder) game.
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