If the NFL wants to get to 18 regular-season games, something many observers believe, then it may use a back-door tactic of addition by subtraction.
As Pro Football Talk explains, losing preseason games could translate into gaining regular-season games.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, the league cant increase the number of games without approval of the NFL Players Association. However, the NFL is allowed to cut the preseason without getting the OK from the union.
Packers president Mark Murphy recently mentioned this possibility.
I would be in support of a move to two and 16, Murphy said. Reduce the number of preseason games. The challenge there obviously is youre losing revenue.
See where theyre going here? Less revenue means a smaller salary cap, which means lower salaries around the league for players. So then the league goes to the NFLPA and says: Hey, guys, we can pump up that salary cap if we add two regular-season games!
PFTs Mike Florio writes: So the ultimate reality show is now in the early stages of a new game of chicken. Will the owners risk preseason revenue to cajole the players into wanting to expand the regular season? Will the players shrug at the reduced salary cap resulting from a reduced preseason?
Labor peace can only last so long, after all.