NFL is already aiming for a future 18-game schedule, possibly as early as 2025, reports show
The NFL is set to host its biggest season in history, moving to a 17-game schedule this year. But don’t count on yet another expansion in the years to come. According to NBC Sports, the league is likely aiming for a future move to 18 games – perhaps as early as 2025 – if not sooner. The current NFL collective agreement, which runs until 2030, only calls for a shift from 16 to 17 regular season games, but Peter King reports that “most observers … think 18 games are underway. Â», With Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk says it is “just a matter of time” until an extra week has elapsed for a vote.
Addressing the future of NFL top commissioner Roger Goodell, King plans to stay in place beyond his current contract, which runs until 2023, “possibly grooming a successor to the over the past two years â. One of the main priorities of the future successor of Goodell, he adds, will be to manage such a passage to 18 games:
The bell will continue to weigh on health and safety, and the NFL’s 17-game schedule brawl this year leads most observers to think 18 games are underway. How can a league that claims to care about the long-term health of its players subject them to 17 games (in 2021) and maybe 18 (by 2025 or 26) without imaginatively looking for ways to to assure players they won’t be guinea pigs for the almighty NFL dollar? Homeowners have dollar signs dancing in their heads over more inventory; players should have a dancing roadblock in theirs. This may be the first major problem for the fourth NFL commissioner since the Kennedy administration.
Florio, meanwhile, insists an 18-game schedule is already in the works, putting the “over-under” for another expansion to 2030, the last year of the current collective agreement. This year, the 2021 season will mark the first in NFL history that more than 16 games have been played in the regular season.