Jul 24, 2019

An 18-game NFL season might be unavoidable

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith (left) and NFLPA executive members. Photo: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFL and the NFLPA are in the midst of negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement, and reports indicate that owners are pushing for an 18-game regular season, with each player limited to 16 games.

What they're saying: Despite pushback from players and even some of the owners, SI's Andrew Brandt believes an 18-game season is the only way a new CBA gets signed.

Brandt: "Negotiations, by necessity, require concessions by both sides — 'gives' [and] 'gets.' The NFLPA's wish list of 'gets' would include, but is not be limited to:"

  • Improved revenue split (players currently receive 47% of league revenues).
  • Shortened rookie contracts to allow earlier free agency gains.
  • Sharing of new revenues associated with legalized gambling.
  • The end of or limitations on (1) the franchise tag, (2) the commissioner's power over personal conduct and (3) the discipline for marijuana use.

Reality check: "This wish list is great," writes Brandt, "but raises the question: What, exactly, is the NFLPA going to offer the NFL to achieve any of these desired outcomes? I can't think of a single thing, except … 18 games."

  • P.S. ... An 18-game season could put nearly half a billion dollars in the hands of players each year. So, while the NFLPA would be conceding to the owners by agreeing to this, the increased revenue makes this "give" much easier to swallow, thus increasing the likelihood of it happening.

The other side: CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora disagrees: "Looks like the ultimate stalking horse to me, and, actually, yet another sign that things continue to progress well towards a new labor deal. ... [D]on't lose any sleep over this."

Go deeper: Medical marijuana and sports betting are top issues for NFL's CBA talks

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
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  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
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  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

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Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to fewer than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.