The NFL's schedule is reportedly about to change in a major way.
According to multiple reports, the NFL is on the verge of approving a 17-game regular season schedule. The playoff schedule is reportedly about to change, too. The new proposal has seven teams from each conference making the playoffs.
"Under the current CBA proposal that NFL owners are pushing for, the playoff field would be expanded to seven teams, while the regular season would be increased to 17 games per team, and the preseason shortened to three games per team, per sources," ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman discussed the new schedule proposal before the Super Bowl. His comments were telling.
Sherman basically thinks that the owners are only trying to go to a 17-game schedule so it's easier to get to 18 games.
“I think it’s the owners using the media in the way owners use media to try to control the rhetoric,” 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee, told reporters before the Super Bowl. “And I don’t think it’s something that players are interested in, honestly, and if that’s the point they’re negotiating on I think these negotiations are going to go on a lot longer than anticipated. Because it’s odd to me, and it’s always odd, when you hear player safety is their biggest concern . . . but it seems like player safety has a price tag.
“Player safety, up to the point of, ‘Hey, 17 games makes us this much money, so we really don’t care how safe they are, if you’re gonna pay us this much money to play another game.’ And so that’s the part that’s really concerning for us as a union and us as players because they think that players have a price tag on their health and I don’t think we’re in the same ballpark in that regard.”
The NFL's new collective bargaining agreement could be approved before the 2020 season, with the 17-game schedule coming by 2021, according to reports.