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Would NFL use back-door play for 18 games?

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Would NFL use back-door play for 18 games?

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.

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Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

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USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

Football is back in session for the Ravens.

Their rookies are set to report to the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md Wednesday. Veterans report next Wednesday, the 18th.

The team is reporting to training camp a bit earlier than most NFL teams. Due to Ray Lewis being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Aug. 4 in Canton, Oh, the Ravens will face the Chicago Bears in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Teams participating are eligible to begin training camp earlier.

This rookie class is already generating national attention. While the Ravens stand by Joe Flacco as their QB1, first-round pick Lamar Jackson could cause a shakeup at some point during the season. And when it comes to much-needed offensive help, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews could begin to provide relief. 

Third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. begins his journey with the Ravens in a more sentimental fashion. His father, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, also played tackle for the Ravens from 1996-98 and then again from 2003-05. Brown passed away in 2011. 

Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the next several weeks as we keep a close eye on the Ravens' preseason. 

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

There's only six months until the NFL playoffs and we've got no time to waste.

OK, maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves but online betting site, Oddshark, released their early 2018 NFL playoff odds and the Ravens are in a similar situation as previous years.

The Ravens are sitting at +135 — tied for 13th with the San Francisco 49ers — for the best odds to play January football. This would place them in the seventh seed among AFC teams and just outside contention.

The Patriots (-1500), Steelers (-550), Chargers (-145), Jaguars (-140), Texans (-135), and Chiefs (+120) are seeded above them respectively. 

During the 2017 season, the Ravens were constantly in the hunt for the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Several weeks ahead of training camp, Vegas is predicting that to be the case in 2018.

Playoff odds in July mean nothing, but considering their offseason changes, the Ravens' 2018 season should bring positive change.

They added weapons for Joe Flacco in free agents Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, and drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.

Then there was the late first-round draft pick of QB Lamar Jackson. Flacco remains the starter for now, but it will be interesting to see if that changes midway through the season or if they get them both on the field at the same time.

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