Roger Goodell, NFL Owners at Odds Over Reducing Preseason

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is reportedly in favor of reducing the preseason from four games to two, but not all team owners seem to agree.

Goodell and owners took part in a call Wednesday to discuss the formula for a 17-game regular season. The owners approved the plan, but they have not yet approved putting it into action. During the call, the subject of reducing the preseason also came up, per ESPN.

“Sources told ESPN’s Seth Wickersham that Goodell seemed in favor of shortening the preseason from four games to two but that a group of powerful owners — New England’s Robert Kraft, Dallas’ Jerry Jones, the New York Giants’ John Mara and Pittsburgh’s Art Rooney II — dismissed the idea,” ESPN reported. “Owners argued that a reduction to three preseason games might work but not two. No vote was taken, and the schedule remained unchanged.”

It makes no sense to play these games at all really, but as long as fans continue to buy tickets, concessions and merchandise for meaningless games, the owners will likely fight for them. Pro football is, after all, big business.

Right now, the collective bargaining agreement permits each team to play up to three preseason games during a 17-game regular season. So it’s hard to imagine that teams will surrender the extra income that a third preseason would provide, assuming the new 17-game schedule is finally approved.

Or maybe — and stay with us here — the NFL could just make the regular season 18 games. If they want extra revenue, they may as well add an extra game that actually counts.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side,


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  1. the preseason sucks at a football product, but its the Only way fans can see how bad their number 1 picks are. fans can’t watch real practice anymore even though every possible football play has been discovered by science already. everything is a secret now, but PreSeason football fills time during the summer and gives us a chance to see behind the curtain.

    and of course Preseason also allows the owners keep watering down ticket prices as if anyone plans to buy tickets again at the old prices … except packers and steelers fans.

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