The collective bargaining agreement adopted last year is reportedly coming to roost this week, as NFL players will likely have to navigate an extra regular-season game this fall.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted Sunday that the “NFL is expected to expand the regular season schedule this week to 17 games. The league had played a 16-game regular season schedule since 1978, by far the longest stretch without a change in NFL history.”
ESPN’s Mike Triplett wrote that the change will officially be decided during the owners’ virtual league meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. According to Yahoo Sports, the season will still include one bye week for each team. The league moved from 12 games to 14 games in 1961, then to 16 games in 1978.
The process began in earnest last March, when NFL players voted to adopt a new collective bargaining agreement that was eventually going to lead to a 17-game season. The CBA will run through the 2030 season.
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The CBA passed through the players by 60 votes, although several players are still speaking out against the adoption of an extra game.
NFL Players Association assistant executive director of external affairs George Atallah said, “there will be automatic changes to the offseason and in season workout schedules” in response to former receiver Torrey Smith saying “17 games in the NFL is great for money, but they are going to have to adjust practices and what a regular season looks like. Dudes were already falling apart playing 16. As a whole this is great but adjustments have to be made.”