The nightmares of the NFL expanding its regular season to 18 games appear to be over. According to The Athletic's Daniel Kaplan, the NFL is now focusing on expanding its season by just one game, to a 17-game season. From Kaplan:
"The NFL has dropped a proposal for an 18-game season and is now focused on expanding the regular season to 17 games, ownership sources said. Owners were briefed on the change at committee meetings in Houston this week. The current schedule is 16 games.
"Not enough owners support (for) 18 and players would not go for it either,” one of the sources said of why the change. The 17-game proposal will be paired with a reduction in the preseason by a game or two from the current four."
The length of the NFL season is nearly perfect right now and expanding the season only benefits you if you are directly pocketing the extra cash from it. Translation: this is not ideal for the fans. It's unnecessary, risky, and lacking upside in quality. So, if they must add to the total, one sure beats two. Though, having an odd number of games is rather strange.
Luckily, this would come paired with a decrease in preseason games. They have become unwatchable over the past few seasons as starters have never played less. Those first four games have become nothing more than a few hours of finger-crossing that nobody gets hurt. And usually someone important does.
There are 18 months remaining on the current 10-year collective bargaining agreement.