Cutler on 18-game season: 'I like the format the way it is'

The players and owners would appear to be on different sides when it comes to brainstorming about an 18-game regular season.

No, the players are not fans of the four-game preseason, but the starters don’t see a lot of action in those games and they’re not a fan of two more regular-season games without pay for, well, two more weeks of work. As it is, NFL players receive 17 checks during the season. One for each game week and one for the bye. If the money was just spread over 18 or 19 weeks, it’s hard to see the players being on board for more work for the same pay.

“I like the format the way it is,” Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said. “But it’s not going to be up to us, just the CBA and see what they work out. It’s a long season as it is right now. Putting two more games on top of it, you’d have to expand the rosters, you’d have to do some other stuff to get players for it.”

We’re imagining “other stuff” includes more money. Certainly the league would have to think about doing away with eight inactive players on game day. There is a lot that goes into it, and maybe even more than we’re seeing on the surface.

“(Commissioner Roger Goodell) wants to see each team play one game overseas each season,” Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said at a speaking engagement. “And the increased schedule would allow that without taking away from the number of games a team's fan base can see.”

It’s an interesting subplot to the CBA negotiations because from a fan’s perspective, it’s one that will make a significant impact on the way they follow a game. Fans would much prefer 18 games that counted to 16, we would imagine. And season-ticket holders have never liked paying for two preseason games in their package. We don’t blame them in that regard. Stay tuned.

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