NFL Players Will Never Agree to Flexed Thursday Night Games
On Wednesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said during a press conference the league may eventually extend "flexible scheduling" to Amazon Prime's Thursday Night Football. Let me be the first to tell you the league's players would never agree to that.
Currently, Sunday Night Football can move games into its 8:15 p.m. ET spot twice from Week 5 through 10, and twice more during Weeks 11 through 17. Sunday afternoon games can also be moved between the 1 p.m. and 4:05 p.m. or 4:25 p.m. slots. Television networks have to announce the changes at least 12 days before the scheduled games, so the teams involved have time to adjust.
Shifting the time of a game but keeping it on the same day is one thing. Moving a game up four days is another situation entirely. Players already hate that they play games on Thursdays with very little prep. There's no chance they'd agree to changing their entire schedule around to move into that slot.
Amazon is paying roughly $1 billion a year for its NFL package and, to say the least, the first season was underwhelming. The games were so bad play-by-play man Al Michaels commented on it publicly. Amazon's deal will last 10 more seasons, so the company wants to get the most bang for its buck. Airing horrible Thursday night games won't do that. Goodell is obviously trying to keep the Amazon happy, so he's tossing this bone out in public. But there's zero chance of it ever happening.
Amazon is going to be stuck airing awful football games for the next decade and will have to stick with its slate with zero flexing. There is zero chance the NFL Players Association agrees to shifting games to Thursdays.