An 18-game regular season remains a possibility in the future for the NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell said following the conclusion of the spring owners meeting in Boston on Tuesday.
It’s been a topic that has been discussed from just about every angle in the past several years. A four-game preseason is a bad product, one the league has a difficult time exciting fans and advertisers with during the month of August.
So, a natural solution would be to reduce to the preseason to two games and add two games to the regular season. Of course, that creates issues of player safety and is not something the NFLPA would agree to, in our opinion, unless it created a real bump in the salary cap.
“(The options) are all on the table,” Goodell said. “As I have said before, I think the structure of the season is something that we consistently reevaluate. I have been quite open about (indicating that) we have to address the quality of the preseason. I hear from fans consistently that they want to make every NFL event more valuable. They see the preseason as being less valuable to them because they don’t see the best players and the games do not count.
“We have to address that, whether we are looking at 18 (regular-season games) and two (preseason games) or 16-and-two and expanded playoffs. They are all on the table and things we are going to evaluate.”
This is a complicated issue. Some are opposed to widening the playoff field because it would cheapen the regular season. Don’t look for a new format anytime soon but at the same time don’t expect the discussion to go away.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune