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SBD/Issue 238/Leagues & Governing Bodies
NFL Players Wary About 18-Game Schedule Due To Injury Concerns
Published August 28, 2009
|Goodell's Proposed 18-Game
Season Greeted With Skepticism
PRESEASON ALSO HAS INJURY RISKS: SI.com's John Lopez noted after "just two full weeks of preseason games, 22 NFL teams already have at least one front-line player listed as out, doubtful or questionable for the start of the regular season." As a result, a "long-needed change to the preseason, shortening the schedule by at least one game and lengthening the regular season, clearly will be on the way the next time NFL owners address the issue." Lopez: "It's about time. Where once the preseason was vitally important for teams and a nice money-maker for owners, today it is unnecessary and a hazard." The value to owners of adding regular season games is "obvious, with more regular-season games leading to increased revenue via TV and radio contracts, and gate revenue and season-ticket income," but the "key component to making it happen would be making the schedule change equally as attractive and valuable" to the NFLPA. Lopez wrote adding one game to the regular season "conceivably gets both sides what they want -- money." The owners "get theirs via more streams of cash flowing in," and players "could get theirs by negotiating that with a longer season, rosters would expand by at least one or two players per team and rookie and veteran minimum-salary levels would increase as well" (SI.com, 8/27).