One former NFL player says an 18-game regular season isn’t too far-fetched.
Phil Simms, who spent 15 years with the Giants as their quarterback and was Super Bowl MVP when the team won the title after the 1986 season, said if the players had a say in season lengths, they would want them to be longer.
“More money,” Simms said (via ProFootballTalk.com) on his son’s podcast, “Chris Simms Unbuttoned.” “More game checks. It’s pro-rated. Give me two more game checks. If you put it up to a vote by the NFL players, it’ll overwhelmingly go over and say yes. Some of the elite quarterbacks and a few players, no. Well yeah, you’re making $25 and $30 million. But the guys that are making a million or less … two more game checks? Are you kidding me? Think about what those checks look like and how much that is and how much of a difference it makes in their lives.”
According to the elder Simms, the only way this could happen is if the NFLPA gives all players a chance to vote on propositions such as this particular one. However, he said he realizes that likely isn’t going to be the case.
“The players probably won’t have much say in it. It’ll probably be a select few players with their (executive) committee and (NFLPA executive director) DeMaurice Smith,” he said. “If you put it up to vote, there’s no doubt the players would vote to go 18 games. I do think it’s heading that way. Just think when the owners get into all of this. Two more weeks of TV money. TV would want it too. Just because it’s the greatest thing on every network.
Simms, who described the preseason games he watched last year as “total disasters,” said he is optimistic a longer season eventually will come about, since the current Collective Bargaining Agreement will be done after the 2020 season and with talk of shortening the preseason.
He also admitted that he used to be against the notion of a longer regular season because of player safety, but with new rules in place to try and prevent head injuries and other contact-related traumas, Simms said this would be the time to change the number of games in a season.
“I went to practices a few years ago when it was kind of starting to arise, this 18-game schedule,” Simms said. “And I was really speaking out against it on Showtime and everywhere. I had owners come up to me in practice and go, ‘Why do you hate us so much?’ And I’m like, ‘Whoa, what do you mean?’ ‘Well you don’t want 18 games, why are you so against it?’ And I go, ‘Well, I guess I’m just against it for the players.’ And they were taking it personal.
It just tells you it’s a gold mine right now for everybody really. The players, the networks, the owners … it’s going to work for all (of them). There’ll be an extra two games and talk about the physical well-being of the players, I don’t think it’s what we think it is.”