Feasible with fixes
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At first glance, the likely addition of two (2) regular season games to the schedule is a surefire boon to both the league and the fans. More football that counts? A potential reduction of the preseason and the accompanying absurdity that is teams charging regular season prices for meaningless preseason games? Yes, please.
A slightly deeper analysis, however, reveals some potential problems. The current 16-game NFL season is already a study in attrition in many ways, so it follows that two more competitive games mean two more full-speed opportunities worth of snaps for injury. Second issue: NFL players get paid based upon a 16-game season. If they're playing 18 games, they'll surely want to be compensated as such.
These problems aren't incapable of being addressed. Increase the number of players allowed on the active roster. Revise the injured reserve rules to allow players to return to the active roster, instead of being done for the year. Deal with the salary ramifications of two more regular season games in the new CBA. Relatively easy fixes all, at least in theory.
Will an 18-game regular season dilute the NFL's product? If the league's solution is simply to add another two games to the regular season schedule while preserving the status quo elsewhere, the answer is almost certainly yes. But if the league is willing to take a long, hard look at the fallout from an 18-game season and agrees to modify its practices accordingly, it becomes much more feasible.
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Posted by: alex35332 | September 1, 2010 1:54 PM
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