Reports that surfaced in September about the NFL’s owners dropping a proposal for an 18-game schedule in favor of 17 games were essentially confirmed by Commissioner Roger Goodell, who offered an update on talks for the league’s next Collective Bargaining Agreement on Wednesday.
The important stuff from a pair of NFL Network insiders:
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the CBA extension talks have been positive and productive. “We’re hopefully that we all see the benefits of doing something earlier and getting something done.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 16, 2019
Goodell confirms 17-game regular season is a part of CBA talks. Says they’d still start the week after Labor Day, but play longer into February.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 16, 2019
Ditching the 18-game schedule is good news in its own right, because players had long drawn a line in the sand and simply were not going to agree to take on more games. HOWEVER, the CBA-related rumors don’t end there.
Radio talk-show host Dan Patrick shared some sourced information that could be among the hold-ups in getting a deal done soon. Check it out:
DP heard from a source that old school owners don't want 17 games and they're having problems with LA stadium pic.twitter.com/LDK3PIBezj
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) October 16, 2019
I’m not even sure where to start after listening to that clip, but I suppose that Patrick hearing that the league would propose giving players 49 percent of the revenue (up from 47 percent) and in turn taking 2 percent of that revenue to help fund the new football stadium in Los Angeles (which is apparently set to cost more than $2.5 billion than the original estimate) is a great place to start. But that’s not where the bombshells end.
Patrick also hears that old-school owners such as the ones who own the Giants and Steelers would prefer to stick with 16 games, while keeping the players at a 47 percent share of the revenues, while newer owners (like Jerry Jones) want an increase in games. All things considered, this is the type of disagreement that will hurt any chances of this CBA getting done by Thanksgiving (which is the preferred time to get such a deal done because owners fear a recession is coming when January rolls around).
At least talks have been described as “positive and productive” from the commissioner’s perspective. After all, the last thing the NFL needs any time soon is a work stoppage. The next move after “positive and productive” talks is actual action, though it is clear that a quick and pain-free resolution isn’t imminent.