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Mawae says he “can’t sell” an 18-game season

Kevin Mawae

Tennessee Titans and NFL Players Association President Kevin Mawae, center, listens during an NFL Players Association news conference Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


When NFLPA president Kevin Mawae appeared earlier this month on PFT Live, he indicated that the union would be willing to consider an 18-game season as part of a broader labor deal that the players deemed acceptable.

Now, it sounds as if 18 games simply won’t work, under any circumstances.

Appearing Thursday of Sirius Mad Dog Radio with Jeff Rickard and Steve Phillips, Mawae addressed the chances of seeing an 18-game season in 2011.

“Can’t sell it,” Mawae said. “I can’t sell it to the players. DeMaurice Smith can’t sell it to the players. The players don’t want it, and quite frankly the fans don’t want it. Could you imagine, if this was an 18-game season this weekend would just be the second round of the playoffs. Think about that. How long would the season be? And then on top of that, the stars you think might be playing in Week 18 were probably on the bench because you lost another 12 or 15 guys throughout the league due to injuries late in the season from overuse and stuff like that. It’s not a sell. I can’t sell 18 games.”

It’s unclear at this point whether Mawae is simply posturing, in part because the NFLPA already has agreed to an 18-game regular season in the current labor deal. As Mawae explained on PFT Live, a simple majority of the players will be enough to approve a new contract, and if half of them plus one will agree to a proposal including 18 games, then 18 games will be played.