Due to a number of different issues, whether it be player’s off-field antics or the potentially life-changing head injuries on the field, the NFL has been under a lot of scrutiny in recent years.
According to a recent report, the NFL and the NFL Players’ Association are working on a new collective bargaining agreement that is highlighted by an extended regular season to 17 games. The new schedule would cut the preseason and extend the regular season an additional week.
Los Angeles Rams veteran safety Eric Weddle is among those that would not be in favor of adding an addition game to the regular-season schedule as he took to his personal Twitter to criticize the NFL and the NFLPA’s possible decision:
Not sure why it's even on the table for us. So so so bad. https://t.co/wwpyCmY9xv
— Eric Weddle (@weddlesbeard) November 14, 2019
Football is one of the most physically intense sports in the world. Players get banged up regularly over the course of the 16-week regular season and adding on one more week to that just adds to the physical toll the players endure. Weddle has been fortunate this season, playing in all nine games thus far.
Cutting the preseason also limits the opportunities for other players to shine. Of course, the Rams have been notorious the last few years for holding out all of their starting players for the entire preseason. It would be interesting to see how one less exhibition game would affect playing time for fringe players.
John Breech of CBS Sports has reported that the NFL is also considering adding two additional playoff spots, bringing the total number of playoff teams to 14. Both sides seem to be on good terms so far and could potentially reach a deal by February. The current CBA runs through the 2020 season, so things should be straightened out by 2021.
Another interesting thread to this story is comparing the NFL to the NBA. Currently the NFL season has each team being active for 16 weeks of the year not including their bye-week. The NBA regular season runs 82 games and lasts just over 25 weeks. While not nearly as physically intense as football, NBA players still deal with their fair share of injuries. Because of that and the NBA’s “load management” problem, they are actually considering cutting back their number of games in the regular season.
With the NFL still being the No. 1 sport in North America, it will be interesting to see how other leagues react should the NFL lengthen their regular season. Hopefully, both sides can come to an agreement that works for everyone and what the players want is heard and taken into account.