2021 Lockout - To be, Or not to Be - the Bank accounts will be the question

Valek123

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I have seen a ton of discussion in 5 or 6 different threads involving the Brady Fiasco and almost every other opportunity to discuss the CBA.

The general consensus is that the players will fold because frankly their playing windows are so short they won't have the capital or frankly business sense to set money aside now.

The second, third, or 45th shots were fired with a recent comment by of all people Ramon Foster, the Pittsburgh Steelers Union rep. The lines are being drawn in the sand, what say you SOSH?

(mods feel free to flush this if you want to integrate it into any one of the 5 thread's it's been discussed, but I feel this is important enough to have it's own thread).
 

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T&A
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I believe the Steelers were the only team to vote against the current CBA. There is seemingly a strong pro-union sentiment from that locker room. It will be more interesting if you hear things like this coming from other clubs or from guys that aren't well known to be active with the union or arn't player reps.
 

jsinger121

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I believe the Steelers were the only team to vote against the current CBA. There is seemingly a strong pro-union sentiment from that locker room. It will be more interesting if you hear things like this coming from other clubs or from guys that aren't well known to be active with the union or arn't player reps.
Agree. Foster while a player rep isn't a guy that makes a ton of money so its good to hear something like this come from his mouth. Really need these players to band together and fight back against the league once the CBA expires.
 

BigSoxFan

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Agree. Foster while a player rep isn't a guy that makes a ton of money so its good to hear something like this come from his mouth. Really need these players to band together and fight back against the league once the CBA expires.
They're going to talk tough but they will be caving as the always do. I'm interested in seeing how much the league can extract the next time around.
 

Quintanariffic

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I don't think there's any question that there will be a lockout. For me, there only questions in doubt are:
  • How long will the lockout last?
  • What will the players cave on in order to get what they want on player discipline?
I could see, for example, players caving on the 18 game schedule or something similarly sacrosanct in order to change the player discipline framework.
 

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T&A
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The question is always money. And specifically here, the question is, does a 3rd party exist that could make money from helping or supporting players during a lockout? Assuming, of course that concept doesn't run afoul of some section of labor law that I don't know about.

2021 is still a long ways off but all the tea leaves suggestion that NFL vs. NFLPA issues will only get more contentious in the next 4-5 years. I have no idea what type of model would work for someone to make money off of a lockout while still providing cover/incentive for the players to hold firm in a lockout. But labor issues look like a safe bet and there is time to plan and setup that model now.
 

tims4wins

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Question on the 18 game schedule. Assuming that the players still get the same % of revenue, wouldn't they be in favor of this because it will increase salaries by 12.5%? Or would they be against it because it would just replace two preseason games which generate nearly the same revenue as regular season games so it's not a material increase? If that is the case, why would the owners want 18 games? Enlighten me.
 

bankshot1

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How about a wild cat strike of the Super Bowl game?

The players have been paid for the year, they have little financial exposure, this is the NFL's big showcase and the game they really care about.

You don't want to re-open CBA discussions, no problem, players might call in sick on February 8th.
 

KiltedFool

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I believe the Steelers were the only team to vote against the current CBA. There is seemingly a strong pro-union sentiment from that locker room. It will be more interesting if you hear things like this coming from other clubs or from guys that aren't well known to be active with the union or arn't player reps.

They were the only team to vote against the CBA, and one of the main reasons for it was the consolidation of player discipline powers in Goodell's hands. It was also rammed through so quickly, players apparently only had two hours to read the CBA before they had to go to a vote.
 

BigSoxFan

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How about a wild cat strike of the Super Bowl game?

The players have been paid for the year, they have little financial exposure, this is the NFL's big showcase and the game they really care about.

You don't want to re-open CBA discussions, no problem, players might call in sick on February 8th.
Boycotting the SB would be the nuclear option but would be a foolish tactic. Would be the easiest way to get millions of people to side with a bunch of snotty billionaires.
 

NickEsasky

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What more can the owners even extract from the players at this point? Goodell is already judge, jury, and executioner. Is he going to make them acquiesce to prima nocta as well?
 

dhappy42

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Boycotting the SB would be the nuclear option but would be a foolish tactic. Would be the easiest way to get millions of people to side with a bunch of snotty billionaires.
Could threaten to boycott the entire postseason instead if the idea is to minimize financial damage to players and maximize NFL pain. Would fans hate it? Of course, but fans will hate any strike.
 

Super Nomario

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What more can the owners even extract from the players at this point? Goodell is already judge, jury, and executioner. Is he going to make them acquiesce to prima nocta as well?
The biggest thing is the split of revenues. Everything else - player discipline, practice schedules, 18-game schedule, guaranteed contracts, pensions, etc. - is a bargaining chip. The money is the big thing; it always has been, and it always will be.
 

NortheasternPJ

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How about a wild cat strike of the Super Bowl game?

The players have been paid for the year, they have little financial exposure, this is the NFL's big showcase and the game they really care about.

You don't want to re-open CBA discussions, no problem, players might call in sick on February 8th.
Could threaten to boycott the entire postseason instead if the idea is to minimize financial damage to players and maximize NFL pain. Would fans hate it? Of course, but fans will hate any strike.
The NFLPA has not been willing to miss a single game in Week 1. Look at the last pathetic effort.

The other 30 losing NFL team's players are going to tell the 2 Super Bowl teams to miss their only shot at a Championship or add another Championship title? Seems like a great idea to completely break the NFLPA rather than the NFL.
 

Ralphwiggum

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The biggest thing is the split of revenues. Everything else - player discipline, practice schedules, 18-game schedule, guaranteed contracts, pensions, etc. - is a bargaining chip. The money is the big thing; it always has been, and it always will be.
+1

The player discipline thing seems like a huge deal because of the Brady fiasco, but it impacts a very small percentage of the players and they'll trade it again for money. And honestly it's hard for me to argue that this is the wrong call.
 

bankshot1

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Boycotting the SB would be the nuclear option but would be a foolish tactic. Would be the easiest way to get millions of people to side with a bunch of snotty billionaires.
No one really cares what the public thinks. Just that we buy tickets and tune in on Sunday.

This is about money and power.THE NFLPA really can't ask its membership to strike for a season (as we've seen in the past) as most of the players can't afford missing several paychecks. The discipline and staying power is not there. But a strike of the SB avoids that, players have already been paid for the year, and hits the owners monetarily as they may have to make good to the networks on lost revenues associated with the SB. Besides f the players believe owners are going to lock them out, and put financial pressure on them to force agreement on new CBA, make the pre-emptive strike.

Will there be a sacrifice by the 2 teams that sit out the SB, sure, but isn't sacrifice part of the history of organized labor? The public will survive the loss of a SB, but maybe if the owners take the threat of the loss of SB revenues seriously, they'll negotiate, rather than threaten to lock-out.

And if the public is educated to the issues, the anger may be more equally distributed than you fear.
 

maufman

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Player discipline will be off the table by 2021 -- the owners will want to make some kind of change to the CBA in the next five years, the players won't agree to any change not directly related to player health without changes to the disciplinary process, and the owners don't feel strongly enough about the issue to let it get in the way of making more money.
 

Bertha

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This is probably a stupid idea, but looking for a possible solution on the NFL supposed push for 18 game schedule.

What about playing 18 games, with each player only allowed to be active for 16? There would be awesome strategic opportunities, and Belichick would easily outsmart the league on roster management. Would require roster size increase and possible practice squad increase. Union would have more paid/paying members.
Depending on mechanics of when active players for each week are named, perhaps limit practice time for inactive player so they have same effective game and practice time as current schedule.

I think the roster management decisions would be fascinating, although the networks and gamblers would hate this.
 

mwonow

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^ It'll never happen - continuity is too important to units like the O-line (and to most coaches), and no team wants to be forced to have two kickers, punters, and long snappers.

Still, that's kind of a cool idea. Second string QBs would be a way more valuable commodity...
 

BaseballJones

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I think the NFL schedule system is pretty perfect the way it is. But why might players not want an 18-game season? The schedule already calls for 20 games, including 4 preseason. Now the starters don't play most of those 4 preseason games, but they DO play SOME. And there's a chance of injury in those games too. If they play 2 real games and 2 preseason games, presumably their pay would go up. And if what they most want is money....well then....there you go.

You trade the 18 game schedule for:

1. Reduced commish powers.
2. Expanded rosters, from 53/45 to 58/50 or something like that. So those five extra guys mean more money for players, and more players making money, and less chance for injury over the long haul.
3. One more bye during the season (maybe). Start a week earlier. Get two byes to rest the body. The NFL will still be making insane money...more than ever with the two additional real games per season.
 

ZMart100

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I doubt the NFLPA would want expanded rosters. Most players would rather split the pie 53 ways than 58 ways. The 46th through 50th player probably won't be getting much playing time anyways, so the reduced injury argument doesn't really work.
 

BigSoxFan

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I doubt the NFLPA would want expanded rosters. Most players would rather split the pie 53 ways than 58 ways. The 46th through 50th player probably won't be getting much playing time anyways, so the reduced injury argument doesn't really work.
Most players? There are just as many fringe NFL players as established ones. At a minimum, you'd think they'd want a larger practice squad.
 

ZMart100

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I'm pretty sure voting members are only players who are already actually on teams.
 

BigSoxFan

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I'm pretty sure voting members are only players who are already actually on teams.
Many of those same players are 1 bad season or less away from being cut. Job security in the NFL is so tenuous that I think players would be supportive of expanded rosters.

I'd love to see the players take a real stand but I just can't see them unifying enough to make a real change. A good chunk of these guys are coming out of college with no skills due to playing for the factories. I bet the thought of life without football is far scarier for most than dealing with the Ginger Hammer.
 

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I think the NFL schedule system is pretty perfect the way it is. But why might players not want an 18-game season? The schedule already calls for 20 games, including 4 preseason. Now the starters don't play most of those 4 preseason games, but they DO play SOME. And there's a chance of injury in those games too. If they play 2 real games and 2 preseason games, presumably their pay would go up. And if what they most want is money....well then....there you go.

You trade the 18 game schedule for:

1. Reduced commish powers.
2. Expanded rosters, from 53/45 to 58/50 or something like that. So those five extra guys mean more money for players, and more players making money, and less chance for injury over the long haul.
3. One more bye during the season (maybe). Start a week earlier. Get two byes to rest the body. The NFL will still be making insane money...more than ever with the two additional real games per season.
You have to replace your #1 through #3 with money. I think the only thing that is going to matter in these negotiations is the revenue split. If the owners want 18 games then the players need a slightly larger slice of the pie. If the NFLPA wants reduced commish power, bigger rosters or a better defined drug policy then they will have to give up some of their cut.

It's fun to sit here and speculate about things that could be bargained and deals that seem reachable. But in the end this is going to come down to money and only money.
 

johnmd20

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Lots of judgement in this thread about the players always caving to the owners and having no spine. I think that is an easy judgement to make, sitting behind a computer and knowing your career will likely last decades.

These guys, on average, have 2-7 years to make as much money as possible. It's a really tight window. And while it would be ideal for the players to band together and fight for more rights and contracts that have some kind of guarantee, it's also understandable the players of today are worrying about their future and not the future of the players coming up behind them.
 

tims4wins

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Question on the 18 game schedule. Assuming that the players still get the same % of revenue, wouldn't they be in favor of this because it will increase salaries by 12.5%? Or would they be against it because it would just replace two preseason games which generate nearly the same revenue as regular season games so it's not a material increase? If that is the case, why would the owners want 18 games? Enlighten me.
Bump as I haven't seen a response. Thoughts anyone?
 

maufman

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Bump as I haven't seen a response. Thoughts anyone?
I'm not sure if the owners negotiated an escalator clause in their TV contracts in case the season expands, but one would expect in the long run that the league would get a 10%-ish boost in TV revenue (which, last I checked, was about two-thirds of total revenue) from an expanded schedule -- the TV rights for preseason games are worth next to nothing.

The players won't agree to an expanded schedule, however, unless they reap substantially all of the incremental revenue, which of course would defeat the purpose from the owners' perspective. There's zero chance it will happen in the foreseeable future.
 

BaseballJones

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I'm not sure if the owners negotiated an escalator clause in their TV contracts in case the season expands, but one would expect in the long run that the league would get a 10%-ish boost in TV revenue (which, last I checked, was about two-thirds of total revenue) from an expanded schedule -- the TV rights for preseason games are worth next to nothing.

The players won't agree to an expanded schedule, however, unless they reap substantially all of the incremental revenue, which of course would defeat the purpose from the owners' perspective. There's zero chance it will happen in the foreseeable future.
I'm going to make numbers up here for the sake of simplicity. Let's say the owners get 55% of all revenue, and the players get 45%. If revenue for a regular season game is 5x that of a preseason game (TV rights and all), why wouldn't the players agree to making 2 of the preseason games become regular season games, if the 55-45 split stayed in place? The owners are STILL making a LOT more money than before, which is their goal. The players ALSO are making a LOT more money than before, which is THEIR goal. And it's really not any more added "work" because you're simply replacing a week of preseason preparation with a week of season preparation, and a preseason game with a regular season game.

It's roughly the same amount of work, isn't it? For more money for both sides?

As I've said, I think the NFL setup is pretty perfect right now and wouldn't want it changed. But I can see why both sides would want an 18-game season. It's more money for everyone.
 

maufman

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I'm going to make numbers up here for the sake of simplicity. Let's say the owners get 55% of all revenue, and the players get 45%. If revenue for a regular season game is 5x that of a preseason game (TV rights and all), why wouldn't the players agree to making 2 of the preseason games become regular season games, if the 55-45 split stayed in place? The owners are STILL making a LOT more money than before, which is their goal. The players ALSO are making a LOT more money than before, which is THEIR goal. And it's really not any more added "work" because you're simply replacing a week of preseason preparation with a week of season preparation, and a preseason game with a regular season game.

It's roughly the same amount of work, isn't it? For more money for both sides?

As I've said, I think the NFL setup is pretty perfect right now and wouldn't want it changed. But I can see why both sides would want an 18-game season. It's more money for everyone.
The NFLPA has made it clear that they oppose an 18-game schedule. They view it as a health and safety issue. In other words, they disagree with your assertion that replacing two preseason games with additional regular season games isn't an increase in work for the players.

Everyone has a price, so I expect there's some concession the owners could make that would cause the union to agree. Given the forcefulness of the union's opposition, I doubt any such concession would leave enough money on the table for the owners to conclude that it's worth taking the risk of diluting their product.
 

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I might be venturing into the territory of a black swan type event. But I posted up thread about any potential 3rd parties that might find a mutually beneficial model from helping support the NFLPA during a work stoppage. Does the MLB and the NBA players association have a vested interest in seeing a strong NFLPA? obviously players in MLB and the NBA already have guaranteed contracts and that creates a huge pivot point vs the NFL/NFLPA relationship. But shouldn't the MLBPA see the weak NFLPA as nothing but a threat. MLB owners can point to a completely different model and say "look it works for NFL owners, they have all the power. I want that". Now I'm not suggesting that the MLB Union should actually feel threatened, but from their POV wouldn't it make sense to have strong players associations in the other leagues to learn from, compare against, etc....

I'm really just spitballing here so ignore me if this is a dumb idea or if unions colluding like this is actually really illegal. But this was a passing thought I had for where the NFLPA may potentially find some extra support to get through a strike.
 

tims4wins

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The NFLPA has made it clear that they oppose an 18-game schedule. They view it as a health and safety issue. In other words, they disagree with your assertion that replacing two preseason games with additional regular season games isn't an increase in work for the players.

Everyone has a price, so I expect there's some concession the owners could make that would cause the union to agree. Given the forcefulness of the union's opposition, I doubt any such concession would leave enough money on the table for the owners to conclude that it's worth taking the risk of diluting their product.
It might be an increase in work, but also an increase in pay. We are always talking about how short these guys' careers are, and that they are trying to max out every possible dollar (which is why they won't strike into the regular season); so not exchanging two preseason games for two regular season games to make more money seems a bit at odds with this position.
 

johnmd20

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The NFLPA has made it clear that they oppose an 18-game schedule. They view it as a health and safety issue. In other words, they disagree with your assertion that replacing two preseason games with additional regular season games isn't an increase in work for the players.

Everyone has a price, so I expect there's some concession the owners could make that would cause the union to agree. Given the forcefulness of the union's opposition, I doubt any such concession would leave enough money on the table for the owners to conclude that it's worth taking the risk of diluting their product.
I think they oppose the 18 game schedule because the owners want it and the players are negotiating against it solely as a bargaining chip.

If it ends up the player would be making 4-8%(or more) more annually with an 18 game season, I think health and safety issues will get put aside. I'm following the money on this one and I bet they go to 18 games if both sides make more.
 

Super Nomario

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It might be an increase in work, but also an increase in pay. We are always talking about how short these guys' careers are, and that they are trying to max out every possible dollar (which is why they won't strike into the regular season); so not exchanging two preseason games for two regular season games to make more money seems a bit at odds with this position.
Would they make more money? Season ticket holders are already required to buy preseason games at regular-season prices, no? It doesn't seem like revenue would increase in line with the additional work / wear-and-tear.
 

BaseballJones

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The NFL TV deal is worth about 3 billion dollars a year. That is 267 regular and postseason games a year. That's roughly $11.2 million a game. (I know postseason games are worth more; but let's keep this simple)

If we assume a 55-45 split, that means that each game the players get roughly $5.1 million of that. Divide that by 106 players, and you get $47,700 per player per game, just from television.

So if you add two regular season games, it comes to - just from TV money, never mind anything else - about an extra $90,000-100,000 per player. And the workload is the same preseason and regular season. There's more playing time (especially for certain players) during the regular season. But that's more money as well.
 

BigSoxFan

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Lots of judgement in this thread about the players always caving to the owners and having no spine. I think that is an easy judgement to make, sitting behind a computer and knowing your career will likely last decades.

These guys, on average, have 2-7 years to make as much money as possible. It's a really tight window. And while it would be ideal for the players to band together and fight for more rights and contracts that have some kind of guarantee, it's also understandable the players of today are worrying about their future and not the future of the players coming up behind them.
I don't blame them for "caving". I would too if I were in their situation. Taking the best deal the NFL offers may not be ideal but it still beats the alternative for most of these guys.
 

tims4wins

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Would they make more money? Season ticket holders are already required to buy preseason games at regular-season prices, no? It doesn't seem like revenue would increase in line with the additional work / wear-and-tear.
As has been pointed out, it is the TV revenue that would drive this increase
 

Hoodie Sleeves

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The NFLPA has made it clear that they oppose an 18-game schedule. They view it as a health and safety issue. In other words, they disagree with your assertion that replacing two preseason games with additional regular season games isn't an increase in work for the players.
.
The NFLPA opposes the 18 game schedule for no reason other than the league wants it, which means they can use it as a bargaining chip to get things like larger rosters and a bigger % of the split.

18 games means higher salaries and more jobs. The union wants that.
 

maufman

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I think they oppose the 18 game schedule because the owners want it and the players are negotiating against it solely as a bargaining chip.
The NFLPA opposes the 18 game schedule for no reason other than the league wants it, which means they can use it as a bargaining chip to get things like larger rosters and a bigger % of the split.

18 games means higher salaries and more jobs. The union wants that.
If you guys are right, why didn't they expand to 18 games back in 2011? The owners very much wanted it, and very few of the players active back then will still be playing in 2021 (so preserving the bargaining chip for future use wasn't likely part of their calculus).

The owners couldn't get the 18-game schedule through in 2011, and since then players' concerns for their long-term health have only increased. The owners will have to cave on something big (not minor b.s. like discipline) to get the players even to consider it; I don't see that happening.
 

Otto

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In the 2011 CBA negotiation, the sides spent 95% of the time negotiating a new revenue split. Everything else got left for the last minute, which is why certain things got rammed through (discipline), others got abandoned (18 game schedule), and the implementation was a mess (the rapid fire player vote, the ridiculous rush to sign contracts, etc.). With the revenue split where it is, I predict the next negotiation will include a broader range of subjects getting renegotiated (with revenue split sill being the number 1 subject).

As for the talk about strikes and work stoppages, the Article 3 of the CBA prohibits strikes and lockouts during the term of the CBA.
 

RIFan

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Discipline was overlooked in the CBA negotiations because Article 46 had basically been in place in similar form since Rozelle. No one had ever used it in the manner Goodell has so it was not something the players had given much consideration to. I'm sure if they could go back in time they would have put up more of a fight to better redefine the arbitration process.
 

bradmahn

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The workload of a preseason game is nowhere near the workload of a regular season game.

Seventy-five to ninety players are rostered for preseason games with no mandatory activations. Forty-six are active for a regular season game. There are way more players playing in a preseason game which equates to fewer snaps for any individual players. Starters play roughly 5 quarters of football in the preseason (1-2 series game one, 2 quarters in game two, 3 quarters in game three, none in game four). What does a hypothetical two game preseason mean for the starters' minutes? Probably play half of each game? One half of game one? I don't know but I suspect the consequences of such a truncated preseason make it harder for on-the-bubble players to get reps and harder for starters to begin the season in the same shape they're in presently.

How much studying and game plan development and implementation is there for a preseason game? Very little, especially in comparison to a regular season game. While this is offset partially by increased practice work, I don't think it is an hour-for-hour tradeoff.
 

Hoodie Sleeves

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I don't think anyone is suggesting that preseason and regular season are similar. I'd suggest though, that if the players really needed 4 games to get ready, we'd see a lot more of the starters in the preseason. Starters barely play in games 1 and 4, and I'd guess that's because coaches see them as unnecessary.

What they're suggesting is that an increase in meaningful games will increase revenue, which will increase salaries and roster sizes accordingly.
 

bradmahn

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I don't think anyone is suggesting that preseason and regular season are similar. I'd suggest though, that if the players really needed 4 games to get ready, we'd see a lot more of the starters in the preseason. Starters barely play in games 1 and 4, and I'd guess that's because coaches see them as unnecessary.

What they're suggesting is that an increase in meaningful games will increase revenue, which will increase salaries and roster sizes accordingly.
I suggest you reread BaseballJones's posts because the suggestion was very much that the workload is not just similar but the same.
 

BaseballJones

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I did suggest that. But after some others suggested otherwise, I texted a friend of mine who plays for the NY Giants currently. I asked him how the workload differs from preseason to regular season. He said that it's more mental work (game planning etc) but they dial it back physically because they don't want injuries. Number of hours of work are the same.

So you all can decide if it's roughly equivalent or not.
 

pappymojo

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How would an 18 game season even be implemented? Would it be a 20 week schedule with each team getting two bye weeks, one in each half of the season, plus playoffs? Or would an 18 game season eliminate the bye weeks altogether?

It seems to me that the league could stretch out the season or they could increase their television exposure without needing the players to actually play more games. Add an extra week to the playoffs, add another bye week, add a Saturday night game, add a Friday night game, add both a Friday night and a Saturday night game.
 

maufman

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How would an 18 game season even be implemented? Would it be a 20 week schedule with each team getting two bye weeks, one in each half of the season, plus playoffs? Or would an 18 game season eliminate the bye weeks altogether?

It seems to me that the league could stretch out the season or they could increase their television exposure without needing the players to actually play more games. Add an extra week to the playoffs, add another bye week, add a Saturday night game, add a Friday night game, add both a Friday night and a Saturday night game.
There's a longstanding, informal agreement that the NFL won't play on Friday nights or Saturdays until after the college football regular season ends. Congress would come down like a ton of bricks on the owners if the league violated that informal agreement.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
31,164
There's a longstanding, informal agreement that the NFL won't play on Friday nights or Saturdays until after the college football regular season ends. Congress would come down like a ton of bricks on the owners if the league violated that informal agreement.
If it's an informal agreement, what exactly would congress do?