No one is real fond of the NFL’s preseason. Not players, not fans, not Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy.
The Packers are being forced to play a fifth preseason game this year because of Brett Favre’s Hall of Fame induction. That fifth game will be the Hall of Fame game on August 7.
We all know that’s overkill, but Murphy says even four preseason games is too many.
“I think one thing we can all agree on is the quality of play in the preseason is not good. And players don’t need game time, they don’t need preseason games to get ready for the season. Certainly not four,” Murphy said.
“We’ve talked about this: It’s the one part of the NFL that really stands out that’s not a first-class [thing]. It’s just not good. Especially that fourth game. It’s kind of a throw-away. I’m sure [Packers coach Mike McCarthy] has looked at [how to approach] it. I think you’ll see a lot of young players playing in those first couple preseason games.”
It seems like the preseason has long been a point of discussion, with the general consensus being that it should be shortened in some way.
This is ultimately a question about money, though. Nothing will likely be done to add or subtract games until the next collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and players association comes up for negotiation. The current agreement runs through the 2020 season.
One potentially intriguing option involves extending the regular season by one game and shortening the preseason equally. That 17th game would allow every team to play an international game — something the league is keen on — without losing a home game.
“As you look ahead, if we’re going to have more and more international games, something’s got to give at some point. One thought that’s been discussed is to go to 17 and three, and then everybody would have an international game. So nobody would have to give up a home game,” Murphy said. “That’s [one thing] people in the league office [have been] thinking. It’s never been voted on or anything like that.”
More football that counts?
I think that’s something we could all get behind.