It’s a dicey issue with valid points of opposition. An 18-game season, which the NFL continues to promote and politic for, remains a change diametrically opposed by the NFLPA. In an age where the NFL is marked by terms like Player Safety, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Salary Cap Figures, it seems counter intuitive to increase the probably of players being placed on Injured Reserve without making significant exchanges in compensation. Ironically, discussions on salary cap increases do not seem to satisfy this concern as the NFLPA cling to the ideal of players’ safety in the light of several key medical studies.
Jan 31, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith speaks during the NFL players association press conference in preparation for Super Bowl XLVII at the New Orleans Convention Center. Super Bowl XLVII will be played between the San Francisco 49ers on February 3, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
From here, there seems to be an impasse on the subject. Other controversial aspects of the game such as Thursday Night Football and putting an NFL franchise in London convolute a resolution further. Nonetheless, if there could be a solution that would combine greater levels of safety, greater financial incentivization for players, and still manage an 18-game schedule, would it be accepted?
Let us start with the underlying paradigm of an 18-game schedule. Now overlay the stipulation held by the NFLPA that playing any more than 16 games is unacceptable. Without too much work, a suitable and yet revolutionary solution emerges: an 18 game schedule in which players are only allowed to play 16 games.