A longer NFL season could be on the horizon.
According to The Washington Post, a number of the league’s 32 owners are in favor of revisiting the idea of an 18-game regular season or an expanded playoff field as the NFL and NFLPA ramp up negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.
A high-ranking official with one team said there are “some owners who would like to expand the season” to 18 games, saying it “would generate a significant revenue boost” while adding it’s not clear “if there is much support from the players on that.”
The change, however, wouldn’t extend the NFL season itself since the league would potentially reduce the number of preseason games.
Many owners also appear willing to make adjustments to the union on the commissioner’s disciplinary authority and the league’s marijuana policy.
The unnamed official added: “The commissioner discipline and marijuana policy will come up at some point, and I suspect the owners will be a little more flexible on both subjects.”
Last week, the NFL and NFLPA announced a joint committee that will support further resources to address behavioral health and pain management, one of which will study the potential use of marijuana by players.
With the current collective bargaining agreement ending after the 2020 season, the NFL and NFLPA have started negotiations for a new deal, though the two sides have yet to reach an agreement.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith sent a letter to all player agents on Wednesday asking them to urge players to save money in the event of a yearlong work stoppage in 2021.
“We are advising players to plan for a work stoppage of at least a year in length,” Smith wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN. “We are also encouraging players to save 50% of their salary and bonuses and to save the entirety of their Performance Based Pay amounts they should earn over the next two regular seasons.”