The NFL is in trouble. The league's CBA is up a year from now and if the two sides can't come to an agreement, there is a possibility that the players could strike for two full years. Luckily, I have a way to save the NFL. All I ask for is a small consulting fee.
The NFL season can still start in August with the Hall of Fame game, but all teams will now only be forced to play two preseason games in the most half-assed fashion possible. Once the truncated preseason mercifully ends, the season will then start one week earlier than usual, on Labor Day Weekend. That way the first Sunday falls on a three-day weekend and people can consume all the branded light beer and future failed network procedural ads their hearts desire-- and nobody has to be at work in the morning.
In place of the two extra preseason games that no one cares about, each team will get two more bye weeks. That pushes the season from 17 weeks to 19 weeks. That is two more weeks of broadcast rights and ad revenue and all that. Two more Monday nights. Two more Sunday nights. Even two more Thursday nights. That's more money from corporations without asking fans to pay to attend another home game or two other preseason games that no one cares about.
The best part is the players don't need to put themselves through two more weeks of dangerous football. In fact, it gives them two extra weeks of rest during the season. With extra byes, "short weeks" could even become less common. If this allows one star to get healthy one week early and play just one more game, it's worth it.
You wouldn't even notice this on Sundays because the league could simply schedule fewer games in the early window. The NFL has already proven how little they actually care about fans by scheduling two or three late afternoon games. Is anyone going to notice if there are "only" four or five games in the early window?
After 19 full weeks of glorious regular season football, the postseason will proceed as usual. Two teams will advance to the Super Bowl which will be played on a Saturday in the middle of February. It's that simple. Football is saved in 2021 and beyond.
Now, about that consulting fee...