Blog Entry

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

Posted on: August 18, 2011 5:33 pm
BisciottiPosted by Josh Katzowitz

In case you thought the owners were just going to forget about a proposed 18-game schedule simply because the players successfully tabled that discussion from the recently-signed CBA, that doesn’t mean the issue still isn’t on at least one owner’s mind (and probably on the mind of every owner and commissioner Roger Goodell).

"I think it became such a flashpoint, that our negotiating team figured that it wasn't worth pushing," said Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, via the Carroll County Times. "What we did as a show of faith was to go from what we had as a unilateral opportunity to impose 18 games in the old CBA, we agreed to let it become a negotiating point with the union going forward. Nobody likes things being forced on them, and the fact that the old CBA made it clear that we could impose it on them, I think that it kind of made them angrier that they didn't feel like they were getting heard.

"We felt that it was in our players' best interests to leave it out of this fight and open it up for negotiation a year or two from now and see what the additional revenue would be so that they're making a decision with eyes wide open."

As’s Clark Judge pointed out last month, an 18-game schedule could begin by 2013 if the players agreed to it. Even if it seems like hardly anybody, but the NFL, is interested in pursuing it or watching it.

Obviously, this is an issue that has been hovering over the labor negotiations for the past few years, and the players were adamant about not getting a new schedule included in the latest CBA. Here was my interview with Bengals T Andrew Whitworth way back in June 2010 about this very subject: Lots of talk today and yesterday about the 18-game schedule. What are your thoughts?

Andrew Whitworth: We want to do anything to make the game better for the fans. If an 18-game schedule will do that, that would be great. But there’s also some things player-wise and health-wise that might be an issue. We feel like if we’re going to have to do that, there has to be some things that change as far as the offseason and training camp.

CBS: Are you talking about just the offseason stuff, or are you also talking about increased health care?

AW: You have to do one of two things; you have to improve the situation now with improving the OTAs or during the season where there’s less contact or you’ve got to attack the health-care issue and give the guys better health care when they’re done. Right now, with most players, even if they play 15 years, they only have -- at the most -- five year of health care. That’s kind of ridiculous what guys go through.

CBS: Do you think the 18-game schedule will happen?

AW: I think the owners definitely want it. I know they’ve prepared for it in their future schedules from what I’ve seen. It’s something they’ll go forward with. But there has to be other things that improve for that to happen.

In the new CBA, the owners gave the players health care for life, and they’ve lessened the offseason workout schedule as well, all in the name of player health. So, it’s not like the players can say the owners don’t care about the well-being of their employees (they even changed the kickoff rules!).

But at some point, it seems inevitable that an 18-game schedule will be part of the NFL season. Remember, Colts president Bill Polian called an 18-game season “fait accompli.” But, like Judge points out, we still can’t figure out how the league can claim to care so much about player safety and then add two more games to the schedule. It doesn’t make sense.

Unless, we’re discussing what the NFL really cares about: money. Then, it makes all the sense in the world.

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Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: August 18, 2011 11:22 pm

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

A couple of random thoughts, firstly why does everybody keep referring to "extra games" when the number of games played will be the same, two more regular season games, two less pre-season games, unless pre-season games don't come under the definition of a "game".

Secondly, season ticket holders keep crying that they are forced to pay full price for meaningless (pre-season) games, yet when the NFL tries to do something about it i.e. swap two meaningless games for two proper games, they (the fans) are against it. What gives? 

Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: August 18, 2011 10:53 pm

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

Why is it that people are always saying "if the season is longer then the players should be paid more!"?
It's not really an issue of "should."  The CBA guarantees the players a certain percentage of revenues.  More games = more revenue = more money for the players.  Not every player, I'm sure... but the player base as a whole.  It doesn't matter whether they deserve it or whatever... it's built into the contract.  It is what it is.

The thing is, the players have made it clear that they don't want the added games even if it DOES mean that extra money... and the new CBA is very clear on the fact that the schedule can't increase without consent from both sides.  So the question becomes not how much extra the players would get paid (since the players have already deemed that to not be worth the added risk), but rather what *would* make it worth the added risk to where the players would agree to it.  I have no idea what that would be, but if the owners really want 18 games, they'll have to figure it out.

Since: Sep 17, 2006
Posted on: August 18, 2011 10:50 pm

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

Does the NFL need 18 games??

Does the league NEED 18 games??


What is two more games going to prove? I mean really! And please, COMMISH, enlighten us on how you're going to implement those two extra games? Divisional games? Can't do it, because it creates schedule IMBALANCE.

Two more NON-divisional games? Oh, great. Water down divisional matchups even more by playing everybody else in the league except the teams you're fighting the hardest against.

NFL heirarchy, have you actually envisioned this, or are you just winging it with a myopic thought process?

I ask again, do we even NEED two more games?      
;     &nbs
p;     &nb

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: August 18, 2011 9:28 pm

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

Why is it that people are always saying "if the season is longer then the players should be paid more!"?

If you agree to work for a yearly get paid the same amount whether you average 40, 60 or 80 hours a week. Of course if you work 60-80 hours you should get some sort of bonus, but don't count on it.

When a player goes down due to injury the team does not say "listen you missed 4 games this year so we won't pay you for those games". And players also get bonuses for playing in more the Pro Bowl, playoffs, championship game and the Super Bowl.

Besides, professional athletes are overpaid as it is. There is no need to keep giving them more money. They have not done anything extraordinary to warrant an increase in pay.

Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: August 18, 2011 8:36 pm

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

The only way it happens under the new CBA is if the players agree for it to happen.  And I don't know how the owners are going to convince them to agree to that.  They would have to find something that the players really want (not just a share of the added revenue), and use it to sweeten the pot in order to get the players on board.

Since: Jul 12, 2008
Posted on: August 18, 2011 7:23 pm

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

Are you freakin' kidding me!?  These greedy owners won't be happy until they cart a dead player off the field. It's funny I wonder how many owers EVER played a down of organized football.  They have no clue and insatiable greed--a deadly combination.  The shame should be unbearable; but I guess when you are that rich your entire thought process becomes skewed by the lust for more money. 

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