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CBA Updates: Owners reportedly will push for an 18-game season if the latest proposal doesn’t pass

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Sounds like a threat to me

NFL Contract Talks Continue As Deadline Approaches Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

“Do this, or else!” That’s how the comments from the owners come off in the most recent updates from the NFL’s CBA proposal. More and more players have spoken out on Twitter this past week about their displeasure from the CBA. Some have referred to it as peer pressure. We’ll find out soon enough, as the players have until March 12, 8:59 p.m. PT to vote.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, A group of NFL owners is hoping the current collective bargaining agreement doesn’t pass so they can negotiate a different deal to include an 18-game season potentially. That’s a different kind of peer pressure. Richard Sherman called it fear-mongering. Fowler said it was more than a handful of owners that felt this way: “They think they can get a better deal next year. They feel they gave up too much on the economics.” According to Fowler, the owners told commissioner Roger Goodell this back in February at an owner’s meeting in New York. They voiced their frustration with the players’ monetary increases and the increase in the size of active rosters. That’s...an odd thing to be upset at. The proposal the owners approved needed three-fourths approval, so this is coming from those that did not want the CBA to be ratified.

18 games?

From Fowler’s article:

But a handful of owners want an 18-game season eventually, the source said, and that could come up in future negotiations if the players don’t approve the CBA. A “no” vote from the players wouldn’t necessarily scrap the framework of the current proposal, but items would then be open for negotiation. A separate source told Fowler that if the owners pushed for an 18th game at that point, it might force the players off the negotiating table completely.

The players voiced their frustration over adding one game; I can’t imagine the outrage over another potential game. Does this mean the NFL would be forced to add another week for a second bye?

Sherman, Aaron Rodgers, and several other players have been vocal about not wanting to sign the deal and how it’s unfair to the players. The offer increases revenue sharing from 47% to 48.5% once there is the 17th game. Fowler’s article states that owners felt that the increase was too generous. With the addition of an 18th game, I’d counter with 50%, at worst. We won’t have to worry about that, according to NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith.

“I don’t see an 18-game schedule — under any circumstance — being in the best interest of our players. If somebody wants to make an 18-game proposal, we’ll look at it. I haven’t seen anything that makes me think that it would be good for the players.”

Smith said the owners also take issue with the expansion of the practice squad rosters, as well as the lack of a proposal for a quarterback salary cap.