The NFL’s regular season schedule might be adding another game, potentially by reducing the preseason. According to the Washington Post’s Mark Maske, the NFL and NFL Players Association have made “meaningful progress” toward a new labor agreement, “raising hopes” that a new deal could be agreed to by early next year. It is “increasingly likely,” according to the Post, that that deal would include a 17-game regular season schedule.
The 10-year CBA agreement between the league and the union runs through the 2020 season and the two parties have been negotiating to try and avoid a work stoppage.
While owners initially explored pushing an 18-game season, the Post notes that owners are turning their focus to a 17-game season, a predicament that the owners believe the players would be more likely to agree too.
The union has consistently expressed public opposition to an increased regular season, but the Post is reporting that owners have indicated a “willingness to make concessions” to get the Players Association to extend the season.
A 17-game season would possibly be accompanied by fewer preseason games and could also lead to an expanded postseason field.
Clark Hunt, chairman of the Kansas City Chiefs, said Wednesday that reducing the preseason is something “everybody would be in favor of.”
"If you replaced a game, perhaps two, with one regular-season game it would give you an odd number of games with 17," Hunt said. "One thought is you could play at least some of those games at a neutral site and obviously internationally would be one way to do that.”