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July 12, 2019

NFL owners propose 18-game season with 16-game limit for players, per report

The NFL's owners have reportedly re-upped a push for an 18-game season, with a new twist: players would only be allowed to play 16 games in a season.

The idea emerged in a recent collective bargaining session between the league and its players union, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It if sounds dumb, that's because it is dumb.

The 16-game limit for players is the owners' obvious response to the biggest, and most important, reason for pushback against an 18-game season: player safety and health. Two more games in a season means two more games in which players can be injured, which is doubly bad when you consider that more injuries happen later in the season, when players' bodies have worn down from repeated bludgeoning.

By proposing a 16-game limit, the owners can point to the idea and, in a vacuum, say they're taking player safety and health seriously. They are, of course, not, but they can say it.

The other piece of the football world that owners need to keep happy, though, is the legion of fans. Plenty of people have pointed out that paying for a football game in which a team's stars won't be playing (you know, like the preseason) doesn't exactly make sense. 

Can you imagine choosing one game out of a season to drop big money on Eagles tickets, and then when the team's inactives are announced at 11:30 a.m., a healthy Carson Wentz isn't playing?

Alternatively, there's this scenario:

Also bad! No matter how you slice it, this is just a bad idea!

Unsurprisingly, this very bad idea is unpopular all over the internet:

The 18-game season idea needs to go away, but it won't because owners are greedy. The best thing that fans and players can do is continue to push back.

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