Source: NFL, Union Moving Toward New CBA, Likely With 17 Games
Negotiators for the NFL and NFLPA have "made meaningful progress toward a new labor agreement that is increasingly likely to include a 17-game regular season," according to sources cited by Mark Maske of the WASHINGTON POST. This "positive momentum has buoyed optimism for an agreement to be in place by the end of the upcoming NFL postseason." Sources said that league owners have "shown a willingness to make concessions to get players to put aside their concerns" about an expanded regular season. It is not yet "clear what concessions would be deemed acceptable by the NFLPA to agree" to a longer season, which the union has "opposed on player-safety grounds." But it appears that at least "some of those concessions would be tied to the sport's economic system for compensating players." If a new agreement is not in place by Super Bowl LIV, pressure would "increase on the sides to strike a deal before the beginning of the new league year in March, at which point the expiration of the current CBA would be only a year off" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/14).
HEARING SOMETHING ELSE: PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio cited a source as saying a new CBA is "not close." The source added that a deal being made before the Super Bowl is "highly unlikely, and that the current working deadline is the start of the new league year in March." Florio noted at that point, the NFLPA also will "elect a new president and new members" to its Exec Committee. Both the league and union would "like to get a deal done before a potential upheaval in NFLPA leadership could undo months of progress" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 11/13).
ON THE HUNT FOR MORE: Chiefs Chair & CEO Clark Hunt said that the NFL must "'seriously consider' reducing the preseason and expanding the regular season to 17 games," which would give the league "additional inventory that would allow for more games internationally." The AP's Dave Skretta noted with CBA talks "heating up, Hunt believes the schedule will become a crucial issue." Hunt has "long been a proponent of expanding the NFL to new markets" (AP, 11/13). Hunt said if the regular season is expanded to 17 games, "One thought is that you could play at least some of those games in a neutral site, and obviously international is one place that we could do that" (K.C. STAR, 11/14).