The NFL could seek an 18-game regular season or an expanded playoff field in a new labor deal, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports. In return, Maske says, many owners are willing to offer players concessions to the commissioner’s disciplinary authority and to the marijuana policy.
Maske quoted a high-ranking official with one NFL team saying “some owners . . . would like to expand the season” to 18 games but added it’s not clear “if there is much support from the players on that.”
Players have adamantly opposed an expanded schedule, and Giants co-owner John Mara reiterated the NFLPA’s strong stance on that issue as recently as September. Packers CEO Mark Murphy repeatedly has stated his concerns about the impact of more games on the health and safety of players.
The league, though, wants 18 games, especially with legalized gambling on the way, and it now has something to give up in order to create even more revenue.