18 game NFL regular season is the new reality

It now looks like the 18 game NFL regular season is more of a reality than ever before. The NFLPA has given the league a counter proposal to its enhanced season, and that likely means the 18 game regular season is not the way the union will fight the league for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. While the league and its owner probably will not agree to everything, the two sides are talking and that usually means some kind of deal will get done.

The first thing the Union wants is to cut the off season workouts from 14 weeks to five, giving NFL teams around 20 days of off season workouts. Since safety is now a big concern for both sides the Union is looking to reduce the impact on its players. They want four practices a week to be without helmets or pads. NFL team would likely use such practices to set up schemes and route running practice for its receivers.

The next demand is for each team to have two bye weeks, and to increase NFL roster size to 56 or 57 from 53. The two bye weeks become troublesome as it would push the NFL regular season to 20 weeks in total. They would also like increased prorated salaries for players under contract, and a reduction in the number of games it takes a player to qualify for post career health care.

On the surface these seem like reasonable demands, but I am sure the owners will buck at the increased roster size. Under this proposal the NFL “season” would begin in June, not March. Assuming that the enhanced season takes away two preseason games the NFL “season would now last 20 weeks plus training camps, plus the post season. Meaning the NFL “season” would run from June to the first week of February or so. Players would then have four months off to recover before hitting the grind again. I don’t know how this will work out, but it seems likely the Union will not get all it is asking for.

Related Links:

  • The Business of the NFL
  • MTR Football
  • Joshua Lobdell.com