This was totally and completely predictable. After Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy suggested the NFL could go to a 17-game regular season (and lose one preseason game), giving each team one international game, the NFLPA quickly came out against the idea.
Or at least executive director of external affairs George Atallah did.
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA 😂😂😂😂😂 https://t.co/cbkZYQOeyR
Woooo. I needed a good laugh.
Nothing says "committed to player health and safety" like wanting to add more contact to the offseason and a 17th regular season game abroad
First of all, let’s just get this out of the way. This is nothing but posturing, plain and simple.
The current collective bargaining agreement runs through the 2020 season. For this 17-game plan to go into effect, it would need to be agreed upon by both the NFL and the NFLPA. The NFLPA has zero incentive to agree with any plan the NFL puts forth. It decreases their leverage.
Now they can say they’re against this 17-game plan and then only agree to it if the league agrees to some other concession, like a higher salary cap.
On the surface, Atallah’s statements are stupid.
No one is talking about adding another game. Removing a preseason game makes the number of games and thus, the weeks of practice a net zero. No change.
Teams and players will adjust.
Changing one game from preseason to regular season does do something else. It increases revenue. Regular season tickets are more pricy than preseason tickets. The international games also expand the NFL’s market, which results in more merch sales, TV deals and so forth.
That doesn’t just benefit the owners. It benefits the players, who will make a case they should be paid more. And we’re sure they will get paid more.
So the NFLPA will talk big about player safety, but in the end it’s probably just as much in their interest to agree to a plan like this as it is in the owners’ interests.