It seemed like something that only the owners wanted to see anyway, but DeMaurice Smith, in speaking publicly for the first time in weeks last night, confirmed that the proposal for an extended season was no longer on the negotiating table. Since before last season, the NFL seems to have been intent on squeezing two more regular season match-ups out of an already physically rigorous season.
The player response to this was never good, with a higher risk of injury and a longer season with likely less compensation the proposal to extend the season was never popular with players. Where the NFL tried to sell it was with the fans and they missed the point entirely. Fans weren’t crying for more games, they just were tired of paying full price for preseason games. Somehow the NFL took that complaint and turned it into two extra regular season games. DeMaurice Smith didn’t mince words when the extended season came up yesterday night.
“First of all, the league has never presented a formal proposal for 18 games,” he told SI.com. “But more importantly, it’s something that our players don’t want. Eighteen games is not in the best interest of our players’ safety, so we’re not doing it.”
Well there you have it, no 18-game season.