The NFL’s annual owner’s meetings have all but concluded. Tuesday marked the day when owners voted on several rule changes, bylaws, and resolutions that were proposed by NFL teams and the competition committee.
The most notable change from Tuesday was the NFL approving just one roster cutdown. Now, teams will trim their rosters from 90 to 53 after the final preseason game. The date organizations must get to 53 is set for Tuesday, August 29.
This was the final straw for a trend that felt inevitable. Previously, there were two cutdowns. Then, last year, rosters were trimmed down to 85 players, followed by 80, before the final cut to get to 53.
It’s worth noting that the 49ers can adhere to their own schedule. They don’t have to wait until the end of August to make cuts. Historically speaking, as training camp goes along, there will be a few cuts here and there for players who are struggling to earn a roster spot.
Two other resolutions were adopted: one to have the postseason follow the same roster transaction deadlines as the regular season, and another to provide greater clarity of a player’s injury status.
The latter one specifically mentioned sports betting and situations where players on the “designated to return list” and are practicing. Previously, those players were not listed on weekly injury reports if they weren’t yet activated. Now, they’ll have to be.
Changes to Thursday night football
The Thursday Night Football flex scheduling proposal was tabled until May, when the next league meetings take place. However, the NFL also passed a resolution that allows any team to play two short weeks on Thursday night football.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero clarified that doesn’t include the Week 1 opener, or the Thursday night game after Thanksgiving. Let’s act as if the league passes the flex scheduling in May and how that would affect other teams.
The NFLPA can’t be happy about this. Someone, more than likely, a team with a winning record, will be penalized and put in a brutal scheduling spot that could influence playoff seedings. We’ve seen how teams look when they play on short weeks. We have years of evidence that the Thursday night product is inferior to what we see on Sundays.
Look no further than how the Niners looked in their two matchups against Seattle compared to their Thursday night outing. Unfortunately, the 49ers feel like a team that would fall victim to playing two short weeks next season.
For a league that pretends to care about player safety, asking a team to play two Thursday night football games in a 17-game season goes against all common sense.