NFL owners are currently arriving in Orlando, Florida for the league's annual meetings. The league has several different meetings each year, but the March meetings are viewed as the "annual" meetings in part because that's when rule changes are voted on for the coming season.
Earlier this week, we took a look at the rules proposals that are up for a vote this week. Beyond those rules, the owners will also vote on proposals related to the league bylaws. These proposals will impact rosters for game day and the season. Here are the proposals, courtesy of Football Zebras:
1. Increase active roster from 46 to 49 for teams playing Thurs-Fri-Sat games
2. Increase practice squad from 8 to 10
3. Trade players prior to the start of the league year
4. Eliminate the preseason cutdown to 75, just have one cutdown to 53
5. Increase injured reserve/designated for return to more than 1 player
6. Expand teams' ability to do testing and timing at regional combines
7. Shift the roster cutdown to 53 to be 4pm ET instead of 6pm ET
The most interesting of all these proposals has to be increasing the active roster for Thursday-Saturday games. The league now requires all 32 teams make an appearance on Thursday Night Football. While the league talks about how injuries are not increased with the Thursday football, they have no problem overlooking the often inferior quality of the football we see on TNF.
I like all the football I can get, but I would be much happier maintaining the quality of Sunday/Monday football and getting rid of Thursday Night Football. Players are operating on an incredibly short week, and given the physical toll each game takes on them, it's not a surprise TNF just isn't as good as Sunday/Monday games.
Of course, the league will not be changing this any time soon. They recently sold off half the TNF slate to CBS, and if they can make big bucks on it, of course they're going to keep it. Even if the players don't like it:
Starters won't play less. Doesn't fix anything "@ProFootballTalk: NFL may use bigger active rosters for Thurs games http://t.co/RaWlTAit9c— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) March 23, 2014
The league balances wanting a quality product, with cashing in as much as possible. I can't blame them for that, but it doesn't make the Thursday product any better. I don't expect change any time soon, but it's still worth a mention. If this passes, the league will sell it as a way to improve Thursday Night Football. Unfortunately, it is only a surface solution to deeper problems with Thursday Night Football quality.