The idea of a 17th game on the NFL schedule has been looming over our heads for quite some time.
But now, it sure sounds like the NFL is putting that talk into action:
NFL is expected to expand the regular season schedule this week to 17 games. The league had played a 16-game regular season schedule since 1978, by far the longest stretch without a change in NFL history.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 28, 2021
On the one hand, football fans should be happy to get another game on the schedule. In theory, more football could lead to more meaningful games. And more games of consequence means the potential for more consumers of the NFL product. For owners, that means more money being spent on the product. And for players, that should mean more money going into their pockets. But at what cost?
It’s not lost on me that a 17th game comes on the heels of lost revenues due to playing through a global pandemic. More games equals more revenue. That math is simple enough. As is the NFL’s angle of not tanking the 2021 salary cap in exchange for adding an extra game to the 2021 schedule. In the end, the NFLPA should make sure that projected future revenues are reflected in player contracts to come. Otherwise, what’s the point of a 17th game if only one side of the bargaining table nets the gross profits?
Some players have already voiced their displeasure with an added 17th game:
Shit dumb… as hell.. https://t.co/HnJ0otzzWp
— Alvin Kamara (@A_kamara6) March 28, 2021
The league will have to adjust its offseason schedule because of its newfound extra game. It will also have to tweak team schedules for the year to come, as opponent lists have already been shared throughout the league. And for the Bears, that means a trip to Vegas to play the Raiders is on the horizon:
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 28, 2021