During the last CBA negotiation between NFL owners and the NFLPA, players almost unanimously panned the idea of an 18-game regular season.

But with the agreement struck in July of 2011 set to expire after the 2020 season, the idea of lengthening the season is poking its head out of the sand once again. 

And there may be more traction for it this time around.

During last week’s minicamp, I asked Tom Brady about it. I didn’t frame the question very well, leading the witness by saying, “How much damage would an 18-game season do to players?”

Brady didn’t readily agree to the direction I was headed.

“It depends how you take care of yourself,” he said. “That’s how I see it. I think your ability to play, your ability to practice is as good as your ability to recover. So if you can’t recover, I think a six-game schedule is hard. I try to focus on the recovery of things and try to be out here every day in practice. I know it takes a level of focus and commitment to do that. There’s a lot of work in advance that needs to be done to make that happen. So … I love football.”

Brady is evangelical about health and the idea it’s attainable for everyone if they commit to the process.

The business and science of training, nutrition, rest and recovery are going to be the centerpiece of his post-football professional life. So maybe his response shouldn’t have surprised me. And the “so … I love football,” comment seemed to be a request to bring it on.