No Eagles draft picks signed today (at least not yet - though the team did make a roster move in releasing undrafted free agent cornerback Devin Ross) so I thought it would provide a good chance to talk about one of the more divisive issues of the off season: expanding the NFL schedule to 18 games.
The New York Times has a story today with some details of the idea, which boils down to this: the owners would like to ditch two of the league's meaningless (but full priced) pre-season games and replace them with regular season contests. This would pave the way for more money in the owners' pockets, with some of that cash presumably finding its way into players' paychecks.
The players, though, are not enthused and have some strong arguments on their side, namely that extending the season would increase the risk of injury in a sport where injuries are already prominent and potentially devastating. Before anyone jumps on the players as pampered millionaires, one of the most outspoken opponents is the Ravens' Ray Lewis, hardly a softie.
“I’ve been blessed to play this game for so long, but it’s time to start thinking about what legacy and impact changes like this will leave for the players of tomorrow and us after we retire,” Lewis said in a statement released by the players’ association, according to the Times. “I know our fans may not like preseason games and I don’t like all of them, but swapping two preseason games for two end-of-season games — when players already play hurt — comes at a huge cost for the player and the team.”
So what do fans think? Would you prefer more NFL action and being freed from paying for watered-down pre-season games? Are you worried about key players getting hurt if the season gets any longer? Is the NFL making a mistake by tinkering with the most successful product in American sports? Or are they smart for finding ways to keep growing revenue (read: making money)?
Have at it . . .