The price of an 18 game season? There is no free lunch.

Some constructive observations on an 18 game season…

1. NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, on Sirius NFL Radio, asked his opinion of the prospect of the NFL going from a 16- to an 18-game regular-season schedule: “What’s in it for us? If we’re going to give you two more games, two more games of wear and tear on our bodies, two more games of potential career-ending injuries, two more games of concussions, blown-out knees, elbows, whatever you want to call it, then what’s the price you’re willing to pay for us to give that to you?”

2. Adalius Thomas about the owners advocating a 17 or 18 game schedule: “Why would you want an 18 game season? Why? … It’s the money thing. Stop. Just stop. If [NFL owners] want to cry about money, then open your books up to an independent audit to really show how much money you’re making. If you really want to cry about money, open your books up, put what you really make in the paper, like you put our salary in the paper every year so that the fans can say, ‘Well, they’re making this much money, why don’t they do this?’ If that’s the case, I’m sick of people talking about, crying about, ‘Well, we need to make cuts here’ …

“I’m just trying to figure out, what’s the purpose for an 18-game season? At the end of the year, when players go to the playoffs, it’s been a long season, so now you’re going to say it’s a longer season? Are you just going to stretch out the payments over 18 weeks now? No. We’re not doing that. You can mark me down on the injured list for two weeks. You can put that in your books. You’ve lost your mind.”

3. Peter King: “I still find it very, very hard to believe in this economy that the owners are going to get the TV networks to pay them any more than the current deals, never mind an increase for the increased inventory.”

Finally some reality injected into this NFL victory proclamation about an 18 game season. Fans automatically equate more games to more NFL. I wish everything in life were that simple. We have argued that this dilutes the product. Incrementally you are not asking for 2 more games for 1 and 2, you are asking for two more games numbered 17 and 18, so you are going to have to pay players for something they have absolutely ZERO interest in. NONE. 2 more regular season games to prove what? To get to the end of the season and determine what already is being determined very well? Players are not going to ask for, and they will not get a 12.5% pay increase. It is not worth it to them. Did you ever hear of “overtime?” It is called TIME AND A HALF. So are NFL owners willing to give players a 19% pay increase for 2 more games? And what about the question posed by Peter King, on whether TV is going to offer ANY increase in the value of the contract, let alone a 19% increase? This is why we called it the Law of Diminishing Returns. TOO MANY QUESTIONS. NOT ENOUGH ANSWERS.

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