The NFL preseason might be one of the trickiest periods in all of sports. While it's necessary for teams to get in a few full game reps with various personnel line-ups, players are subjected to the possibility of season/career-ending injuries for a mere exhibition contest. As a result, the league is looking into modifying their current preseason schedule.
"I feel what we should be doing is always to the highest quality, and I’m not sure preseason games meet that level right now," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said during a charity event in June. "I’m not sure, talking with coaches, that four preseason games is necessary any more to get ready for a season to evaluate players, develop players. There are other ways of doing that, and we’ve had a lot of discussions about that."
As NFL fans know, teams are reluctant to play their starters for more than one quarter in the first of the four preseason games. After this, the game is played out by players looking to secure a roster slot. This doesn't make for an interesting contest nor does it save revenue for the NFL.
Another topic that is being thrown around is the possibility of adding more games to the NFL regular season. As it stands, each franchise plays a 16-game season. For the owners, they want to take the two games that are being trimmed from the preseason and add those to the schedule, making an 18-game season, or include them in the playoffs. Yet, the NFLPA is not a fan of this idea.
Although the owners argue that the increase in revenue created by the extra games will allow them to secure bigger contracts, the players are worried about the toll this might take on their bodies. Per the Post, the NFLPA will only agree to a longer season under the terms that no player can participate in more than 16 games. This is a crease in the plan that the owners and NFLPA hope to iron out when collective bargaining negotiations begin in 2020.