As the NFL and Players Association continue to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (and prepare for a lockout) one of the biggest issues is expanding the regular season to 18 games. You can count Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt among those that would support such a move.
“It’s such a positive for the fans,” said Hunt, who attended the last two days of training camp. “We’ve all seen over the last half-dozen years that the interest in the preseason games has decreased, and the athletes are better conditioned now, they practice year-round, and I think making the switch to 18 and two (preseason) games might be a positive for everybody involved.”
While there’s been little progress to get a new agreement, Hunt said, “I feel confident that a deal will get done. I can’t predict when.”
For all the talk on both sides, there is a quick way to get a new CBA done and Hunt is on the right track.
Expand the regular season to 18 games, but in the process raise the roster limit to 60, increase compensation for players with the help of a significantly higher salary cap.
While increasing salaries overall, get an NBA-style rookie scale to stop unproven players from getting $50 million guaranteed before ever taking a snap. While this structure would be met with resistance, it could get enough support from veterans looking for a big payday to get pushed along. Plus, if you make all rookie contracts 3 years, players that perform would get their big deal sooner rather than later.
As we all know, this whole thing — like most things in life — boil down to money and this is a way to make sure all sides are getting paid.
Though the folks at the Players Association would argue that no deal will get done until the league stops trying to cut into how much of the revenues owners share. And that is the where we start getting into math and math makes my head hurt.